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J Immunol. 2001 Dec 1;167(11):6559-67.

Forced expression of murine IL-17E induces growth retardation, jaundice, a Th2-biased response, and multiorgan inflammation in mice.

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Department of Molecular Oncology, Genentech, Inc., South San Francisco, CA 94080, USA.


IL-17 is a proinflammatory cytokine, and its in vivo expression induces neutrophilia in mice. IL-17E is a recently described member of an emerging family of IL-17-related cytokines. IL-17E has been shown to bind IL-17Rh1, a protein distantly related to the IL-17R, suggesting that IL-17E probably possesses unique biological functions. In this study, we have identified the murine ortholog of IL-17E and developed transgenic mice to characterize its actions in vivo. Biological consequences of overexpression of murine (m)IL-17E, both unique to IL-17E and similar to IL-17, were revealed. Exposure to mIL-17E resulted in a Th2-biased response, characterized by eosinophilia, increased serum IgE and IgG1, and a Th2 cytokine profile including elevated serum levels of IL-13 and IL-5 and elevated gene expression of IL-4, IL-5, IL-10, and IL-13 was observed in many tissues. Increased gene expression of IFN-gamma in several tissues and elevated serum TNF-alpha were also noted. In addition, IL-17E induces G-CSF production in vitro and mIL-17E-transgenic mice had increased serum G-CSF and exhibit neutrophilia, a property shared by IL-17. Moreover, exposure to mIL-17E elicited pathological changes in multiple tissues, particularly liver, heart, and lungs, characterized by mixed inflammatory cell infiltration, epithelial hyperplasia, and hypertrophy. Taken together, these findings suggest that IL-17E is a unique pleiotropic cytokine and may be an important mediator of inflammatory and immune responses.

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