Interleukin-26 (IL-26) is a novel anti-microbial peptide produced by T cells in response to staphylococcal enterotoxin

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Anti-microbial peptides are produced at outer and inner surfaces by epithelia and innate immune cells in response to bacterial infection. Staphylococcus aureus is an enterotoxin producing, Gram-positive pathogen, which is a major cause of soft tissue infections and life-threatening bacteremia and sepsis. Here we show that (i) skin T cells in chronic wounds infected with S. aureus express interleukin-26 (IL-26) in situ, (ii) staphylococcal enterotoxins (SE) trigger IL-26 expression in T cell lines and primary skin T cells, and (iii) IL-26 triggers death and inhibits biofilm formation and growth of S. aureus. Thus, we provide novel evidence that IL-26 is an anti-microbial peptide produced by T cells in response to SE. Accordingly, we propose that IL-26 producing T cells take part in the innate immune response to SE producing S. aureus and thus play a novel role in the primary innate immune defense in addition to their classical role in adaptive immunity.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number28
Pages (from-to)19481-19489
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • Antimicrobial peptide, Chronic wounds, IL-26, Immune response, Immunity, Immunology: Immunology and Microbiology Section, Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxins, Superantigens staphylococcus pseudomonas

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ID: 197098257