Primary Sjögren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disease characterized by diffuse infiltration of lymphocytes into exocrine glands and other tissues. The infiltrating lymphocytes have been identified as subsets of B cells and T cells, including T helper 17 cells, T regulatory cells and follicular helper T cells. The role of these cells in the development of the syndrome is now known, as is their impact on the production of proinflammatory cytokines such as IL-6, IL-17, IL-22 and IL-23. In particular, experimental animal models and patients suggest that a shift in Th17/Treg balance toward the proinflammatory Th17 axis exacerbates primary Sjögren’s syndrome and other autoimmune disorders. Nevertheless, the pathogenesis of the disorder is not yet fully elucidated. This review summarizes the recent advances in therapeutic control of the Treg/Th17 balance, as well as the efficacy of candidate therapeutics against primary Sjögren’s syndrome.
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