Neutrophils are heterogeneous with distinct subsets, and can switch phenotypes to exert regulatory functions on immunity. We herein demonstrate that IL-23-treated neutrophils selectively produce IL-17A, IL-17F and IL-22, and display a distinct gene expression profile in contrast to resting and lipopolysaccharide-treated neutrophils. IL-17+ neutrophils are present in the colons of mice with dextran sulfate sodium-induced colitis. Adoptive transfer of IL-23-treated neutrophils significantly promotes pathogenesis in this model. IL-23 induces neutrophil polarization through STAT3-dependent RORγt and BATF pathways. Thus, IL-23-induced neutrophil polarization expresses a unique cytokine-producing profile, which may contribute to IL-23-mediated inflammatory diseases.
Keywords: IL-17; IL-23; colitis; inflammation; neutrophils; polarization.