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J Immunol. 2003 May 1;170(9):4432-6.

Cutting edge: roles of Toll-like receptor 4 and IL-23 in IL-17 expression in response to Klebsiella pneumoniae infection.

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  • 1Section of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Alcohol Research Center, Gene Therapy Program, and Department of Physiology, Louisiana State University Health Science Center, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA.


Local production of IL-17 is a significant factor in effective host defense against Gram-negative bacteria. However, the proximal events mediating IL-17 elaboration by T cells remain unclear. In this study, we show in vivo that intact Toll-like receptor 4 signaling in the lung is required for induction of both the p19 transcript of IL-23 and IL-17 protein elaboration in response to Klebsiella pneumoniae. Although IL-17 is widely considered a CD4(+) T cell product, we also demonstrate significant in vitro IL-17 production by CD8(+) T cells after culture in medium from dendritic cells exposed to these bacteria. The dominant portion of this IL-17-inducing activity for both CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells is IL-23. These data demonstrate the critical signaling pathway for IL-17 induction in the host response to Gram-negative pulmonary infection and suggest a direct role for IL-23 in CD8(+) T cell IL-17 production.

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