Insulin-Like Growth Factors Are Key Regulators of T Helper 17 Regulatory T Cell Balance in Autoimmunity

Academic Article


  • Appropriate balance of T helper 17 (Th17) and regulatory T (Treg) cells maintains immune tolerance and host defense. Disruption of Th17-Treg cell balance is implicated in a number of immune-mediated diseases, many of which display dysregulation of the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system. Here, we show that, among effector T cell subsets, Th17 and Treg cells selectively expressed multiple components of the IGF system. Signaling through IGF receptor (IGF1R) activated the protein kinase B-mammalian target of rapamycin (AKT-mTOR) pathway, increased aerobic glycolysis, favored Th17 cell differentiation over that of Treg cells, and promoted a heightened pro-inflammatory gene expression signature. Group 3 innate lymphoid cells (ILC3s), but not ILC1s or ILC2s, were similarly responsive to IGF signaling. Mice with deficiency of IGF1R targeted to T cells failed to fully develop disease in the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) model of multiple sclerosis. Thus, the IGF system represents a previously unappreciated pathway by which type 3 immunity is modulated and immune-mediated pathogenesis controlled.
  • Published In

  • Immunity  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • DiToro D; Harbour SN; Bando JK; Benavides G; Witte S; Laufer VA; Moseley C; Singer JR; Frey B; Turner H
  • Start Page

  • 650
  • End Page

  • 667.e10
  • Volume

  • 52
  • Issue

  • 4