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Spring 5-6-2021


Previously, we found that pathological immune responses enhance the mortality rate of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb)-infected mice with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). In the current study, we evaluated the role of the cytokine IL-22 (known to play a protective role in bacterial infections) and type 3 innate lymphoid cells (ILC3s) in regulating inflammation and mortality in Mtb-infected T2DM mice. IL-22 levels were significantly lower in Mtb-infected T2DM mice than in nondiabetic Mtb-infected mice. Similarly, serum IL-22 levels were significantly lower in tuberculosis (TB) patients with T2DM than in TB patients without T2DM. ILC3s were an important source of IL-22 in mice infected with Mtb, and recombinant IL-22 treatment or adoptive transfer of ILC3s prolonged the survival of Mtb-infected T2DM mice. Recombinant IL-22 treatment reduced serum insulin levels and improved lipid metabolism. Recombinant IL-22 treatment or ILC3 transfer prevented neutrophil accumulation near alveoli, inhibited neutrophil elastase 2 (ELA2) production and prevented epithelial cell damage, identifying a novel mechanism for IL-22 and ILC3-mediated inhibition of inflammation in T2DM mice infected with an intracellular pathogen. Our findings suggest that the IL-22 pathway may be a novel target for therapeutic intervention in T2DM patients with active TB disease.


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