Interleukin 22 disrupts pancreatic function in newborn mice expressing IL-23

Lili Chen, Valentina Strohmeier, Zhengxiang He, Madhura Deshpande, Jovani Catalan-Dibene, Scott K. Durum, Thomas M. Moran, Thomas Kraus, Huabao Xiong, Jeremiah J. Faith, Chhinder P. Sodhi, David J. Hackam, Sergio A. Lira, Glaucia C. Furtado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Neonatal inflammatory diseases are associated with severe morbidity, but the inflammatory factors underlying them and their potential effector mechanisms are poorly defined. Here we show that necrotizing enterocolitis in neonate mice is accompanied by elevation of IL-23 and IL-22 and decreased production of pancreatic enzymes. These phenotypes are mirrored in neonate mice overexpressing IL-23 in CX3CR1+ myeloid cells or in keratinocytes. The mice fail to grow and die prematurely, displaying systemic inflammation, nutrient malabsorption and decreased expression of intestinal and pancreatic genes mediating digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids. Germ-free environment improves, and genetic ablation of IL-22 restores normal growth in mice overexpressing IL-23. Mechanistically, IL-22 acts directly at the level of pancreatic acinar cells to decrease expression of the pancreas associated transcription factor 1a (PTF1a). These results show that augmented production of IL-23 and IL-22 in early life has a negative impact on pancreatic enzyme secretion and food absorption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4517
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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