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Blood. 2012 Oct 25;120(17):3478-87. doi: 10.1182/blood-2012-06-439026. Epub 2012 Sep 11.

IL-36 signaling amplifies Th1 responses by enhancing proliferation and Th1 polarization of naive CD4+ T cells.

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Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Geneva School of Medicine, Switzerland.


The interleukin-1 (IL-1) superfamily of cytokines comprises a set of pivotal mediators of inflammation. Among them, the action of IL-36 cytokines in immune responses has remained elusive. In a recent study, we demonstrated a direct effect of IL-36 on immune cells. Here we show that, among T cells, the IL-36 receptor is predominantly expressed on naive CD4(+) T cells and that IL-36 cytokines act directly on naive T cells by enhancing both cell proliferation and IL-2 secretion. IL-36β acts in synergy with IL-12 to promote Th1 polarization and IL-36 signaling is also involved in mediating Th1 immune responses to Bacillus Calmette-Guerin infection in vivo. Our findings point toward a critical function of IL-36 in the priming of Th1 cell responses in vitro, and in adaptive immunity in a model of mycobacterial infection in vivo.

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