(Inverse) agonists of retinoic acid-related orphan receptor γ: Regulation of immune responses, inflammation, and autoimmune disease

Academic Article


  • Retinoic acid-related orphan receptor γt (RORγt) functions as a ligand-dependent transcription factor that regulates multiple proinflammatory genes and plays a critical role in several inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Various endogenous and synthetic RORγ (inverse) agonists have been identified that regulate RORγ transcriptional activity, including many cholesterol intermediates and oxysterols. Changes in cholesterol biosynthesis and metabolism can therefore have a significant impact on the generation of oxysterol RORγ ligands and, consequently, can control RORγt activity and inflammation. These observations contribute to a growing literature that connects cholesterol metabolism to the regulation of immune responses and autoimmune disease. Loss of RORγ function in knockout mice and in mice treated with RORγ inverse agonists results in reduced production of proinflammatory cytokines, such as IL-17A/F, and increased resistance to autoimmune disease in several experimental rodent models. Thus, RORγt inverse agonists might provide an attractive therapeutic approach to treat a variety of autoimmune diseases.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Jetten AM; Cook DN
  • Start Page

  • 371
  • End Page

  • 390
  • Volume

  • 60