Article Text

Original article
Tissue-infiltrating neutrophils represent the main source of IL-23 in the colon of patients with IBD


Objective In IBD, interleukin-23 (IL-23) and its receptor (IL-23R) are implicated in disease initiation and progression. Novel insight into which cells produce IL-23 at the site of inflammation at an early stage of IBD will promote the development of new tools for diagnosis, treatment and patient monitoring. We examined the cellular source of IL-23 in colon tissue of untreated newly diagnosed paediatric patients with IBD.

Design Colon tissues from IBD and non-IBD patients were analysed by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR), immunofluorescence confocal microscopy and flow cytometry after appropriate sample preparation. Blood samples from IBD and non-IBD patients and healthy controls were analysed using flow cytometry and qPCR.

Results We discovered that tissue-infiltrating neutrophils were the main source of IL-23 in the colon of paediatric patients with IBD, while IL-23+ human leucocyte antigen-DR+ or IL-23+CD14+ cells were scarce or non-detectable, respectively. The colonic IL-23+ neutrophils expressed C-X-C motif (CXC)R1 and CXCR2, receptors for the CXC ligand 8 (CXCL8) chemokine family, and a corresponding CXCR1+CXCR2+IL-23+subpopulation of neutrophils was also identified in the blood of both patients with IBD and healthy individuals. However, CXCL8-family chemokines were only elevated in colon tissue from patients with IBD.

Conclusions This study provides the first evidence of CXCR1+CXCR2+IL-23-producing neutrophils that infiltrate and accumulate in inflamed colon tissue of patients with IBD. Thus, this novel source of IL-23 may play a key role in disease progression and will be important to take into consideration in the development of future strategies to monitor, treat and prevent IBD.


Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.