Identification of IL-40 and IL-41
My lab specializes in the identification and characterization of novel cytokines and chemokines. We have identified two novel cytokines that we have called IL-40 and IL-41. IL-40 is s small secreted protein encoded by an uncharacterized gene that is expressed by activated B cells. It is expressed in the bone marrow and fetal liver and it therefore is likely to be involved in B cell development. We have obtained an IL-40-/- mouse which exhibits defects in B cell development. In the periphery, IL-40 is expressed by activated B cells. Interestingly, B cells require differentiation in order to produce large amounts of IL-40. This involves culture with various cytokines including IL4 and TGFb. The IL-40-/- mouse exhibits defects in IgA production and in its gut microbiome.
IL-41 is a novel cytokine produced by activated macrophages. It is associated with inflammation and its expression by macrophages is regulated by several cytokines. Conversely, an IL-41-/- mouse exhibits dysregulation of cytokine production. We conclude from these observations that IL-41 is an immunoregulatory cytokine. Its expression is strongly induced during inflammatory responses and it is likely to play an important role in the control of inflammation.
We conclude that these are novel additions to the cytokine collection and that these molecules will prove to be important in both innate and acquired immunity.
PhD, Associated Professor
Department of Physiology and Biophysics and Institute for Immunology, University of California Irvine. Irvine, CA, USA
Domain 3 - U932 - Immunity and Cancer