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Nat Med. 2011 Jun 12;17(7):837-44. doi: 10.1038/nm.2391.

Identification of an innate T helper type 17 response to intestinal bacterial pathogens.

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Department of Immunology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Interleukin 17 (IL-17) is a central cytokine implicated in inflammation and antimicrobial defense. After infection, both innate and adaptive IL-17 responses have been reported, but the type of cells involved in innate IL-17 induction, as well as their contribution to in vivo responses, are poorly understood. Here we found that Citrobacter and Salmonella infection triggered early IL-17 production, which was crucial for host defense and was mediated by CD4(+) T helper cells. Enteric innate T helper type 17 (iT(H)17) responses occurred principally in the cecum, were dependent on the Nod-like receptors Nod1 and Nod2, required IL-6 induction and were associated with a decrease in mucosal CD103(+) dendritic cells. Moreover, imprinting by the intestinal microbiota was fully required for the generation of iT(H)17 responses. Together, these results identify the Nod-iT(H)17 axis as a central element in controlling enteric pathogens, which may implicate Nod-driven iT(H)17 responses in the development of inflammatory bowel diseases.

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