Interleukin-17: from clone to clinic

Published on October 31, 2022   24 min

Other Talks in the Series: The Immune System - key concepts and questions

Hello, my name is Leonie Taams and I'm a professor of Immune Regulation and Inflammation at King's College London. In this seminar, I will talk about interleukin-17 from clone to clinic.
The outline of this seminar is as follows: First, I will briefly explain what are interleukins. I will then touch upon the interleukin-17 family in general before delving into more detail on the IL-17A. I will discuss its discovery and I will talk about its biological function; the cells that produce interleukin-17A, technologies that can be used to detect, IL-17A and I will describe how IL-17A can be targeted therapeutically in inflammatory disease.
To start off with, what are interleukins?
Interleukins or ILs in short, are cytokines which are small proteins, usually less than 20 kilodalton. These molecules have hormone-like function which enables cells to communicate to each other. Interleukins can bind to interleukin receptors on recipient cells to mediate cytokine signalling. Cytokines can function in an autocrine manner, which means that a cytokine acts back on the cell that produces it or in a paracrine manner, which means it acts on a neighboring cell. Some cytokines can also work in a distant manner acting on cells or organs far away from the site of origin of the cytokine in a very similar manner as hormones do.
Interleukins were first thought to be expressed by leukocytes only. Leukocytes are white blood cells and this is what gave it the name. However, we now know that interleukins can be produced by many other body cells. Interleukins can play a central role in many different processes that are important for the well-functioning of our immune system, including effects on immune cell activation, differentiation, proliferation, maturation, migration, or adhesion. But interleukins can also influence non-immune cell function. For example, it can have effects on stromal cells, bone, liver, heart, brain cells, basically almost all, if not all, cells and tissues of the body can be influenced by interleukins.