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Keywords:

  • interleukin-12;
  • interleukin-17;
  • interleukin-23;
  • T-helper 17;
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis;
  • zymosan

Summary: Interleukin-12 (IL-12) and IL-23 share a common chain. Yet, their production in response to pathogens is differentially regulated, and their functions are distinct and often antithetic. IL-12 is involved in the induction or amplification of the T-helper (Th) type 1 response, whereas IL-23 has been associated with the generation of the Th17 response and IL-17 production. Mycobacterium tuberculosis and yeast zymosan induce IL-23, but in the absence of other stimuli, no IL-12 is induced in human dendritic cells (DCs). The stimulation of IL-23 by M. tuberculosis was mostly explained by the triggering of Toll-like receptor (TLR2) and the cytoplasmic receptor nucleotide oligomerization domain (NOD)-containing protein 2, whereas zymosan induces IL-23 primarily by stimulating the β-glucan receptor dectin-1 alone or in combination with TLR2. IL-23, IL-6, transforming growth factor (TGF-β1), and IL-1β in supernatants from activated human DCs induce human naive CD4+ T cells to produce IL-17. These data are consistent with various recent reports that TGF-β is an inducer of IL-17 production both in human and in mouse cells. However, IL-1 is necessary in combination with some or all of the other cytokines to induce IL-17 production in human T cells. The ability of various stimuli to induce Th17 cells depends not only on their induction of IL-23, IL-6, and TGF-β production in DCs but also on their ability to activate directly or indirectly the inflammasome and to induce IL-1β.