From interleukin-23 to T-helper 17 cells: human T-helper cell differentiation revisited

Authors

  • Katia Boniface,

    1. Department of Immunology, Schering-Plough Biopharma (Formerly DNAX Research), Palo Alto, CA, USA.
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  • Bianca Blom,

    1. Department of Immunology, Schering-Plough Biopharma (Formerly DNAX Research), Palo Alto, CA, USA.
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    • *Current address: Department of Cell biology and Histology, Amsterdan Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

  • Yong-Jun Liu,

    1. Department of Immunology, Schering-Plough Biopharma (Formerly DNAX Research), Palo Alto, CA, USA.
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    • Current address: Center for Cancer Immunology Research M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.

  • René De Waal Malefyt

    1. Department of Immunology, Schering-Plough Biopharma (Formerly DNAX Research), Palo Alto, CA, USA.
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René de Waal Malefyt
Department of Immunology
Schering-Plough Biopharma
901 California Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94304, USA
Tel.: +1 650 496 1164
Fax: +1 650 496 1200
e-mail: rene.de.waal.malefyt@spcorp.com

Abstract

Summary: Protracted inflammation leading to dysregulation of effector T-cell responses represents a common feature of a wide range of autoimmune diseases. The interleukin-12 (IL-12)/T-helper 1 (Th1) pathway was thought to be responsible for the pathogenesis of multiple chronic inflammatory diseases, including psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, or multiple sclerosis, mainly through their production of interferon-γ and its effects on macrophage activation and chemokine production. However, this initial concept of T-cell-mediated chronic inflammation required an adjustment with the discovery of an IL-12-related cytokine, designated IL-23. IL-23 was rapidly recognized for its involvement in the establishment of chronic inflammation and in the development of a Th cell subset producing IL-17, designated Th17, which is distinct from the previously reported Th1 and Th2 populations. This review aims to describe the characterization of IL-23 and its receptor, its biological activities, as well as its involvement in the development of human Th17 cells and autoimmunity.

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