Research ArticleFUNGAL INFECTION

Oral epithelial IL-22/STAT3 signaling licenses IL-17–mediated immunity to oral mucosal candidiasis

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Science Immunology  05 Jun 2020:
Vol. 5, Issue 48, eaba0570
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aba0570

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Effective immune defense against invasive oral infections by the fungus Candida albicans relies heavily on the cytokine IL-17A and its ability to stimulate a coordinated antifungal response by the multilayered oral epithelium. Aggor et al. used a mouse model of oral candidiasis to investigate the contribution of IL-22, another cytokine produced by many type 17 lymphocytes, to antifungal immunity. The rapid induction of IL-22 after oral Candida infection enhanced IL-22–dependent proliferation of the basal epithelial layer, thereby sustaining the ability of suprabasal epithelial cells expressing IL-17 receptors to respond to IL-17A with induction of immune effectors capable of repelling fungal infection. These findings provide new mechanistic insights into the cooperative antifungal effects of IL-22 and IL-17A in defending the host against oral candidiasis.

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