Science signaling

Identification of IL-23p19 as an endothelial proinflammatory peptide that promotes gp130-STAT3 signaling.

PMID 26980441


Interleukin-23 (IL-23), a heterodimeric cytokine composed of the unique p19 peptide (IL-23p19) and a peptide called IL-12p40, which is shared with IL-12, is implicated in Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and other immune-mediated inflammatory diseases. Endothelial cells produce the IL-23p19 peptide in the absence of the IL-12p40 chain and thus do not make heterodimeric IL-23. We found that intercellular IL-23p19 increased the cell surface abundances of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) on endothelial cells, which enhanced the attachment of leukocytes and increased their transendothelial migration. Intracellular p19 associated with the cytokine receptor subunit gp130 and stimulated the gp130-dependent activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) signaling. Proinflammatory factors promoted the generation of IL-23p19 in endothelial cells. The adventitial capillaries of inflamed temporal arteries in patients with giant-cell arteritis (GCA) had endothelial p19 protein associated with gp130, but did not contain the IL-12p40 chain. Because adventitial capillaries are essential for the entry of inflammatory cells into arterial walls, these data suggest that p19 may contribute to GCA disease and could represent a therapeutic target. Our results provide evidence that IL-23p19 is a previously unrecognized endothelial proinflammatory peptide that promotes leukocyte transendothelial migration, advancing our current understanding of the complexities of inflammatory responses.