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Eur J Immunol. 2008 Dec;38(12):3265-8. doi: 10.1002/eji.200838655.

IL-22 and inflammation: leukin' through a glass onion.

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Department of Immunobiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


IL-22 is a Th17 T-cell-associated cytokine that is highly expressed during chronic inflammation. IL-22 receptor expression is absent on immune cells, but is instead restricted to the tissues, providing signaling directionality from the immune system to the tissues. Through Stat3 signaling, IL-22 induces a variety of proliferative, anti-apoptotic, and anti-microbial pathways. IL-22 is bi-functional with both pro-inflammatory and protective effects on tissues depending on the inflammatory context. The cytokine plays a role both in the host response against extracellular pathogens and in the inflammation associated with autoimmune diseases. Therapeutics targeting IL-22 therefore may have promise for treating various chronic inflammatory diseases.

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