• Interleukin-23;
  • Interleukin-12;
  • Bacteria and bacterial product;
  • Signal transduction


IL-23 is a novel cytokine composed of an IL-12 p40 and a p19 subunit. We analyzed human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and hematopoietic cell lines for constitutive expression of IL-23 and IL-12 subunits and expression following exposure to various stimuli, and investigated the mechanisms of their induction by LPS and SAC. IL-23 p19 and IL-12 p35 mRNAs were expressed in fresh PBMC, and expression of all IL-23 and IL-12 subunits was up-regulated by LPS and SAC. LPS-induced increase of IL-23 and IL-12 subunits expression was CD14-dependent, while CD14 was not involved in SAC-induced p19 transcription. Both LPS- and SAC-induced subunits expression required p38 MAPK pathway. PHA effected an increase of p19 mRNA in both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, whereas p35 was minimally regulated by PHA. IFN-γ primed monocytes for LPS stimulation of p19, p35 and p40 expression. p19 mRNA was detectable in most hematopoietic cell lines tested but p35 distribution was more restricted. A phorbol diester enhanced p19, p35 and p40 expression in EBV-positive cell lines. Our results suggest that both the subunits of IL-23 are tightly regulated; the expression pattern and regulation mode of IL-23 p19 is similar to as well as distinct from that of IL-12 p35.