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Nat Med. 2008 Mar;14(3):275-81. doi: 10.1038/nm1710. Epub 2008 Feb 10.

IL-22 mediates mucosal host defense against Gram-negative bacterial pneumonia.

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  • 1Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Suite 3765, 3705 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA.


Emerging evidence supports the concept that T helper type 17 (T(H)17) cells, in addition to mediating autoimmunity, have key roles in mucosal immunity against extracellular pathogens. Interleukin-22 (IL-22) and IL-17A are both effector cytokines produced by the T(H)17 lineage, and both were crucial for maintaining local control of the Gram-negative pulmonary pathogen, Klebsiella pneumoniae. Although both cytokines regulated CXC chemokines and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor production in the lung, only IL-22 increased lung epithelial cell proliferation and increased transepithelial resistance to injury. These data support the concept that the T(H)17 cell lineage and its effector molecules have evolved to effect host defense against extracellular pathogens at mucosal sites.

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