Ross Hall #602
Speaker: Bin Gao, MD, Ph.D.
Chief, Laboratory of Liver Diseases
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Interleukin-22 (IL-22) was first cloned in 2000 and belongs to the IL-10 family; however, IL-22 does not have any anti-inflammatory functions as IL-10 does. In 2004, we reported for the first time the hepatoprotective effect of IL-22 in vivo in several mouse models of liver injury. Later, studies from our laboratory and other laboratories reported that IL-22 also protects against epithelial cell injury in many other organs in addition to the liver, including the pancreas, gut, kidneys, and lungs, etc. IL-22 also plays an important role in host defense against bacterial infection. The action of IL-22 is mainly mediated by binding to IL-10R2 and IL-22R1, and subsequently activating signal transducer and transcription factor 3 (STAT3, a survival signal for epithelial cells). IL-22 mainly targets epithelial cells such as hepatocytes due to the restricted expression of IL-22R1 on these cells. Phase I clinical studies of human IL-22-Fc dimer in healthy subjects showed promising results with minimal side effects in healthy subjects. A phase IIb trial showed promising data on patients with moderate to severe alcoholic hepatitis. Therapeutic potential of IL-22 on other types of organ injury will be discussed.