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J Exp Med. 2001 Aug 20;194(4):519-27.

Requirement of interleukin 17 receptor signaling for lung CXC chemokine and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor expression, neutrophil recruitment, and host defense.

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Louisiana State University Health Sciences Gene Therapy Program, Section of Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA.


Bacterial pneumonia is an increasing complication of HIV infection and inversely correlates with the CD4(+) lymphocyte count. Interleukin (IL)-17 is a cytokine produced principally by CD4(+) T cells, which induces granulopoiesis via granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) production and induces CXC chemokines. We hypothesized that IL-17 receptor (IL-17R) signaling is critical for G-CSF and CXC chemokine production and lung host defenses. To test this, we used a model of Klebsiella pneumoniae lung infection in mice genetically deficient in IL-17R or in mice overexpressing a soluble IL-17R. IL-17R-deficient mice were exquisitely sensitive to intranasal K. pneumoniae with 100% mortality after 48 h compared with only 40% mortality in controls. IL-17R knockout (KO) mice displayed a significant delay in neutrophil recruitment into the alveolar space, and had greater dissemination of K. pneumoniae compared with control mice. This defect was associated with a significant reduction in steady-state levels of G-CSF and macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-2 mRNA and protein in the lung in response to the K. pneumoniae challenge in IL-17R KO mice. Thus, IL-17R signaling is critical for optimal production of G-CSF and MIP-2 and local control of pulmonary K. pneumoniae infection. These data support impaired IL-17R signaling as a potential mechanism by which deficiency of CD4 lymphocytes predisposes to bacterial pneumonia.

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