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    In the course of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), raising and reducing the function of Th17 and Treg cells, respectively, elicit hyperinflammation and disease progression. The current study aimed to evaluate the responses of Th17 and Treg cells in COVID-19 patients compared with the control group. Forty COVID-19 intensive care unit (ICU) patients were compared with 40 healthy controls. The frequency of cells, gene expression of related factors, as well as the secretion levels of cytokines, were measured by flow cytometry, real-time polymerase chain reaction, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay techniques, respectively. The findings revealed a significant increase in the number of Th17 cells, the expression levels of related factors (RAR-related orphan receptor gamma [RORγt], IL-17, and IL-23), and the secretion levels of IL-17 and IL-23 cytokines in COVID-19 patients compared with controls. In contrast, patients had a remarkable reduction in the frequency of Treg cells, the expression levels of correlated factors (Forkhead box protein P3 [FoxP3], transforming growth factor-β [TGF-β], and IL-10), and cytokine secretion levels (TGF-β and IL-10). The ratio of Th17/Treg cells, RORγt/FoxP3, and IL-17/IL-10 had a considerable enhancement in patients compared with the controls and also in dead patients compared with the improved cases. The findings showed that enhanced responses of Th17 cells and decreased responses of Treg cells in 2019-n-CoV patients compared with controls had a strong relationship with hyperinflammation, lung damage, and disease pathogenesis. Also, the high ratio of Th17/Treg cells and their associated factors in COVID-19-dead patients compared with improved cases indicates the critical role of inflammation in the mortality of patients. © 2020 Wiley Periodicals LLC.


    Armin Sadeghi, Safa Tahmasebi, Arshad Mahmood, Maria Kuznetsova, Hamed Valizadeh, Ali Taghizadieh, Masoud Nazemiyeh, Leili Aghebati-Maleki, Farhad Jadidi-Niaragh, Sanaz Abbaspour-Aghdam, Leila Roshangar, Haleh Mikaeili, Majid Ahmadi. Th17 and Treg cells function in SARS-CoV2 patients compared with healthy controls. Journal of cellular physiology. 2021 Apr;236(4):2829-2839

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    PMID: 32926425

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