Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 26006013
Link to DOI – 10.1038/ni.3180
Nat Immunol 2015 Jul; 16(7): 698-707
The epithelium is the main entry point for many viruses, but the processes that protect barrier surfaces against viral infections are incompletely understood. Here we identified interleukin 22 (IL-22) produced by innate lymphoid cell group 3 (ILC3) as an amplifier of signaling via interferon-λ (IFN-λ), a synergism needed to curtail the replication of rotavirus, the leading cause of childhood gastroenteritis. Cooperation between the receptor for IL-22 and the receptor for IFN-λ, both of which were ‘preferentially’ expressed by intestinal epithelial cells (IECs), was required for optimal activation of the transcription factor STAT1 and expression of interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs). These data suggested that epithelial cells are protected against viral replication by co-option of two evolutionarily related cytokine networks. These data may inform the design of novel immunotherapy for viral infections that are sensitive to interferons.