Characterization and biological significance of IL-23-induced neutrophil polarization

Cell Mol Immunol. 2018 May;15(5):518-530. doi: 10.1038/cmi.2017.39. Epub 2017 Jul 10.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Polarity*
  • Colitis / immunology
  • Colitis / pathology
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Interleukin-23 / metabolism*
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neutrophils / cytology*
  • Neutrophils / metabolism*
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor / metabolism
  • Th17 Cells / metabolism


  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-23
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor