Potential role for IL-23 in hepatic ischemia/reperfusion injury
IL-12 and IL-23 are related cytokines that share a p40 subunit. Our previous studies identified IL-12 as a primary initiator of the cytokine cascade induced after hepatic ischemia/reperfusion. Because those studies were conducted prior to the discovery of IL-23, it is not clear whether IL-12 or IL-23 is the relevant cytokine in this response. The current studies show that the antibodies used in our original study cross-react with IL-23. We also found that both IL-12 p35 and IL-23 p19 mRNA are expressed rapidly in the liver after ischemia/reperfusion. Finally, isolated Kupffer cells produced TNFα in response to IL-23, but not IL-12, suggesting that IL-23 may be the relevant initiator of the hepatic inflammatory response to ischemia/reperfusion.