IL-22 is a critical cytokine in modulating tissue responses during inflammation. IL-22 is upregulated in many chronic inflammatory diseases, making IL-22 biology a potentially rewarding therapeutic target. However, this is complicated by the dual-natured role of IL-22 in inflammation, as the cytokine can be protective or inflammatory depending on the disease model. Although scientific interest in IL-22 has increased considerably in the past 10 y, there is still much we do not know about the environmental, cellular, and molecular factors that regulate the production and function of this cytokine. A better understanding of IL-22 biology will allow us to develop new or improved therapeutics for treating chronic inflammatory diseases. In this article, I will highlight some of the outstanding questions in IL-22 biology.
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