Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from Journal of Inflammation and BioMed Central.

Open Access Open Badges Short Report

Inhibitory effects of heat shock protein 90 blockade on proinflammatory human Th1 and Th17 cell subpopulations

Stefan Tukaj, Detlef Zillikens and Michael Kasperkiewicz*

Author Affiliations

Department of Dermatology, University of Lübeck, Ratzeburger Allee 160, 23538 Lübeck, Germany

For all author emails, please log on.

Journal of Inflammation 2014, 11:10  doi:10.1186/1476-9255-11-10

Published: 2 April 2014



Heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90), a chaperone that regulates activity of many client proteins responsible for cellular growth, differentiation, and apoptosis, has been proposed as an important clinical and preclinical therapeutic target in a number of malignancies and autoimmune diseases, respectively. In this study, we evaluated the effects of pharmacological Hsp90 inhibition on human proinflammatory T cell responses.


Using anti-CD3 antibody-stimulated human peripheral blood mononuclear cell cultures, we observed that Hsp90 inhibition by non-toxic concentrations of the geldanamycin derivative 17-DMAG significantly blocked T cell proliferation, reduced IFN-γ and IL-17 expression on CD4+ T lymphocytes, and arrested secretion of proinflammatory IFN-γ, TNF-α, and IL-17, cytokines characteristic of Th1 and Th17 cells, respectively. These effects were associated with inhibition of NF-kB activity, upregulation of Hsp70 protein expression, and disruption of T cell-specific nonreceptor tyrosine kinase Lck activation.


Our results further support the potential use of Hsp90 inhibitors in patients with autoimmune diseases where uncontrolled Th1 or Th17 activation frequently occurs.

17-DMAG; Heat shock protein; T cell