Role and mechanism of Th17/Treg imbalance in children with mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia
Objective: To explore the role and mechanism of Th17/Treg imbalance in children with mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia. Methods: 90 children were enrolled in this study from June 2013 to January 2015 at our hospital, among whom 60 cases were diagnosed with mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia and 30 cases were healthy children. The percentage of Th17 and Treg cells in both groups were analyzed by flow cytometry, the corresponding cytokines of IL-17 and IL-10 and the mRNA levels of specific transcriptional factors of Th17 and Treg (RORγ and Foxp3) were analyzed in both groups by ELISA and PCR, respectively. What’s more, the Notch signaling molecules (Notch1 and Hes1) were further investigated. Results: The percentage of Th17, the level of the associated cytokine (IL-17) and the mRNA level of transcriptional factor (RORγ) were all significantly higher in children with mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia than those healthy children (P<0.05), While, the percentage of Treg, the level of associated cytokine IL-10 and the mRNA level of transcriptional factor (Foxp3) were all significantly lower in children with mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia than those in healthy children (P<0.05). Furthermore, the mRNA levels of the Notch signaling molecules (Notch1 and Hes1) were both significantly increased in children with mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia by comparison with those in healthy children (P<0.05). Conclusion: Th17/Treg imbalance participates in the development of mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia in children. Notch signaling pathway may participate in Th17/Treg imbalance by regulating their differentiation and cytokine secretion.