Not All Cytokine-producing Cells Start Out the Same Way, According to Penn Study

May 14, 2013

Implications for manipulating the immune response for some inflammatory disorders

Cytokines are molecules produced by immune cells that induce the migration of other cells to sites of infection or injury, promote the production of anti-microbial agents, and signal the production of inflammatory mediators. These events are important for fighting infections. However, sometimes this process goes unchecked, resulting in unwanted inflammation that can damage tissues and organs. Interleukin 17, or IL17, is a well-studied cytokine that regulates immune function at mucosal surfaces in the body but is dysregulated in many diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriasis. Not all IL17-producing cells are the same, and the rules regarding how particular cell types are instructed to produce this important mediator differ. Research published in Nature Immunology, by Gary Koretzky, MD, PhD, the Francis C. Wood professor of Medicine and Investigator in the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute; Martha Jordan, PhD, research assistant professor in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Jiyeon Kim, an MD-PhD student in the Koretzky lab, and other members of the Perelman School community including Morris Birnbaum, MD, PhD from the Department of Medicine and scientists in the laboratory of Celeste Simon, PhD, from the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute and the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, sheds light on the intricacies of those instructions.

Penn Medicine News Release