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Mol Immunol. 2010 Mar;47(6):1255-61. doi: 10.1016/j.molimm.2009.12.008. Epub 2010 Jan 13.

CD40 ligand-triggered human dendritic cells mount interleukin-23 responses that are further enhanced by danger signals.

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Division of Immunology, Paul-Ehrlich-Institut, Langen, Germany.


Interleukin (IL)-23 is a heterodimeric cytokine composed of the IL-23-specific subunit p19 and the p40 subunit which also constitutes part of IL-12. IL-23 propagates development of Th17 cells, a novel T cell subset which produces IL-17 but no interferon-gamma or IL-4. For both, IL-23 and IL-23-driven IL-17, a crucial role in autoimmune diseases such as experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, collagen-induced arthritis, and colitis is well accepted. Recent studies indicate that there is also a role for IL-23 and IL-17 in tumorigenesis, promoting tumor growth and vascularization, and affecting tumor incidence. We show that human CD14(+) peripheral blood monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DC), as used for clinical applications in anti-tumor immunization strategies, produce high amounts of IL-23. CD40-triggering of immature and mature DC but not of primary monocytes induced a rapid expression of high levels of IL-23, free p40, and minor levels of IL-12. Upon stimulation of DC subsets with a variety of different danger signals such as single stranded and double stranded RNA, bacterial components or viral infections, IL-23 expression pattern was analyzed. Interestingly, co-stimulation with CD40L enabled IL-23 expression by DC subsets towards danger signals to which they have been unresponsive upon single stimulation. Furthermore, we detected two novel splice variants of the IL-23-specific subunit p19 that could be associated with the regulation of IL-23 expression. Data presented here might have an impact on DC-based cancer vaccination strategies and contribute to a better understanding of the complex regulation of the heterodimeric cytokine IL-23.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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