Therapeutic opportunities of the IL-22-IL-22R1 system

Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2014 Jan;13(1):21-38. doi: 10.1038/nrd4176.


Interleukin-22 (IL-22) is a key effector molecule that is produced by activated T cells, including T helper 22 (TH22) cells, TH17 cells and TH1 cells, as well as subsets of innate lymphoid cells. Although IL-22 can act synergistically with IL-17 or tumour necrosis factor, some important functions of IL-22 are unique to this cytokine. Data obtained over the past few years indicate that the IL-22-IL-22 receptor subunit 1 (IL-22R1) system has a high potential clinical relevance in psoriasis, ulcerative colitis, graft-versus-host disease, certain infections and tumours, as well as in liver and pancreas damage. This Review highlights current knowledge of the biology of the IL-22-IL-22R1 system, its role in inflammation, tissue protection, regeneration and antimicrobial defence, as well as the positive and potentially negative consequences of its therapeutic modulation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis / drug therapy
  • Arthritis / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Infections / drug therapy
  • Infections / physiopathology*
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Inflammation / physiopathology*
  • Interleukin-22
  • Interleukins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Interleukins / physiology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy / methods*
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Receptors, Interleukin / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptors, Interleukin / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Interleukins
  • Receptors, Interleukin
  • interleukin-22 receptor