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      IL-6 as a keystone cytokine in health and disease.

      1 , 2
      Nature immunology

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          Abstract

          Interleukin 6 (IL-6) has a broad effect on cells of the immune system and those not of the immune system and often displays hormone-like characteristics that affect homeostatic processes. IL-6 has context-dependent pro- and anti-inflammatory properties and is now regarded as a prominent target for clinical intervention. However, the signaling cassette that controls the activity of IL-6 is complicated, and distinct intervention strategies can inhibit this pathway. Clinical experience with antagonists of IL-6 has raised new questions about how and when to block this cytokine to improve disease outcome and patient wellbeing. Here we discuss the effect of IL-6 on innate and adaptive immunity and the possible advantages of various antagonists of IL-6 and consider how the immunobiology of IL-6 may inform clinical decisions.

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          TGFbeta in the context of an inflammatory cytokine milieu supports de novo differentiation of IL-17-producing T cells.

          We describe de novo generation of IL-17-producing T cells from naive CD4 T cells, induced in cocultures of naive CD4 T cells and naturally occurring CD4+ CD25+ T cells (Treg) in the presence of TLR3, TLR4, or TLR9 stimuli. Treg can be substituted by TGFbeta1, which, together with the proinflammatory cytokine IL-6, supports the differentiation of IL-17-producing T cells, a process that is amplified by IL-1beta and TNFalpha. We could not detect a role for IL-23 in the differentiation of IL-17-producing T cells but confirmed its importance for their survival and expansion. Transcription factors GATA-3 and T-bet, as well as its target Hlx, are absent in IL-17-producing T cells, and they do not express the negative regulator for TGFbeta signaling, Smad7. Our data indicate that, in the presence of IL-6, TGFbeta1 subverts Th1 and Th2 differentiation for the generation of IL-17-producing T cells.
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            IL-21 initiates an alternative pathway to induce proinflammatory T(H)17 cells.

            On activation, naive T cells differentiate into effector T-cell subsets with specific cytokine phenotypes and specialized effector functions. Recently a subset of T cells, distinct from T helper (T(H))1 and T(H)2 cells, producing interleukin (IL)-17 (T(H)17) was defined and seems to have a crucial role in mediating autoimmunity and inducing tissue inflammation. We and others have shown that transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta and IL-6 together induce the differentiation of T(H)17 cells, in which IL-6 has a pivotal function in dictating whether T cells differentiate into Foxp3+ regulatory T cells (T(reg) cells) or T(H)17 cells. Whereas TGF-beta induces Foxp3 and generates T(reg) cells, IL-6 inhibits the generation of T(reg) cells and induces the production of IL-17, suggesting a reciprocal developmental pathway for T(H)17 and T(reg) cells. Here we show that IL-6-deficient (Il6-/-) mice do not develop a T(H)17 response and their peripheral repertoire is dominated by Foxp3+ T(reg) cells. However, deletion of T(reg) cells leads to the reappearance of T(H)17 cells in Il6-/- mice, suggesting an additional pathway by which T(H)17 cells might be generated in vivo. We show that an IL-2 cytokine family member, IL-21, cooperates with TGF-beta to induce T(H)17 cells in naive Il6-/- T cells and that IL-21-receptor-deficient T cells are defective in generating a T(H)17 response.
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              Lin28 Enhances Tumorigenesis and is Associated With Advanced Human Malignancies

              Multiple members of the let-7 family of miRNAs are often repressed in human cancers1,2, thereby promoting oncogenesis by de-repressing the targets K-Ras, c-Myc, and HMGA2 3,4. However, the mechanism by which let-7 miRNAs are coordinately repressed is unclear. The RNA-binding proteins Lin28 and Lin28B block let-7 precursors from being processed to mature miRNAs5–8, suggesting that over-expression of Lin28/Lin28B might promote malignancy via repression of let-7. Here we show that LIN28 and LIN28B are over-expressed in primary human tumors and human cancer cell lines (overall frequency ∼15%), and that over-expression is linked to repression of let-7 family miRNAs and de-repression of let-7 targets. Lin28/Lin28B facilitate cellular transformation in vitro, and over-expression is associated with advanced disease across multiple tumor types. Our work provides a mechanism for the coordinate repression of let-7 miRNAs observed in a subset of human cancers, and associates activation of LIN28/LIN28B with poor clinical prognosis.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nat. Immunol.
                Nature immunology
                1529-2916
                1529-2908
                May 2015
                : 16
                : 5
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Department of Pathobiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
                [2 ] Cardiff Institute of Infection and Immunity, The School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Heath Campus, Cardiff, UK.
                Article
                ni.3153
                10.1038/ni.3153
                25898198
                6d45a12c-22ff-487f-a026-e64eddf2c58f
                History

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