Peripherally derived T regulatory and γδ T cells have opposing roles in the pathogenesis of intractable pediatric epilepsy

Dan Xu, Andrew P. Robinson, Toshiyuki Ishii, D'Anne S. Duncan, Tord D. Alden, Gwendolyn E. Goings, Igal Ifergan, Joseph R. Podojil, Pablo Penaloza-MacMaster, Jennifer A. Kearney, Geoffrey T. Swanson, Stephen D. Miller*, Sookyong Koh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


The pathophysiology of drug-resistant pediatric epilepsy is unknown. Flow cytometric analysis of inflammatory leukocytes in resected brain tissues from 29 pediatric patients with genetic (focal cortical dysplasia) or acquired (encephalomalacia) epilepsy demonstrated significant brain infiltration of blood-borne inflammatory myeloid cells and memory CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Significantly, proinflammatory (IL-17- and GM-CSF-producing) γδ T cells were concentrated in epileptogenic lesions, and their numbers positively correlated with disease severity. Conversely, numbers of regulatory T (T reg) cells inversely correlated with disease severity. Correspondingly, using the kainic acid model of status epilepticus, we show ameliorated seizure activity in both γδ T cell- and IL-17RA-deficient mice and in recipients of T reg cells, whereas T reg cell depletion heightened seizure severity. Moreover, both IL-17 and GM-CSF induced neuronal hyperexcitability in brain slice cultures. These studies support a major pathological role for peripherally derived innate and adaptive proinflammatory immune responses in the pathogenesis of intractable epilepsy and suggest testing of immunomodulatory therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1169-1186
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Peripherally derived T regulatory and γδ T cells have opposing roles in the pathogenesis of intractable pediatric epilepsy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this