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Interleukin-23 (IL-23) is a heterodimeric cytokine consisting of two subunits, one called p40, which is shared with another cytokine, IL-12, and another called p19 (the IL-23 alpha subunit). IL-23 is an important part of the inflammatory response against infection. It promotes upregulation of the matrix metalloprotease MMP9, increases angiogenesis and reduces CD8+ T-cell infiltration. Recently, IL-23 has been implicated in the development of cancerous tumors. In conjunction with IL-6 and TGF-β1, IL-23 stimulates naive CD4+ T cells to differentiate into a novel subset of cells called Th17 cells, which are distinct from the classical Th1 and Th2 cells. Th17 cells produce IL-17, a proinflammatory cytokine that enhances T cell priming and stimulates the production of proinflammatory molecules such as IL-1, IL-6, TNF-alpha, NOS-2, and chemokines resulting in inflammation. Knockout mice deficient in either p40 or p19, or in either subunit of the IL-23 receptor (IL-23R and IL12R-β1) develop less severe symptoms of multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease highlighting the importance of IL-23 in the inflammatory pathway.
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|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Interleukin_23". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|