Comparative study of interleukin-17C (IL-17C) and IL-17D in large yellow croakerLarimichthys croceareveals their similar but differential functional activity

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Interleukin 17 (IL-17) family members are key players in regulating the immune response in mammals. Here, we identified the IL-17C and IL-17D homologs from large yellow croaker (Larimichthys crocea), named LcIL-17C and LcIL-17D, respectively. The deduced LcIL-17C and LcIL-17D proteins possessed the typical IL-17 domain and shared a conserved arrangement of eight cysteine residues. Both LcIL-17C and LcIL-17Dc genes were constitutively expressed in all tissues examined, although at different levels. After challenge with Aeromonas hydrophila, the expression of LcIL-17C and LcIL-17D was significantly increased in gills, head kidney, and spleen. In the peripheral blood leukocytes (PBLs), the recombinant LcIL-17C (rLcIL-17C) could strongly promote the expression of chemokines (CXCL8, CXCL12, and CXCL13), proinflammatory factors (TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, and IFNg), and antibacterial peptide hepcidin, whereas rLcIL-17D induced a weaker expression of these chemokines. Consistently, the culture supernatants from the PBLs treated by rLcIL-17C showed a stronger ability to induce the migration of PBLs than those treated by rLcIL-17D. Furthermore, both rLcIL-17C and rLcIL-17D could activate the NF-κB signalling in the epithelioma papulosum cyprini (EPC) cells. Taken together, these results indicated that LcIL-17C and LcIL-17D, although differing in their ability to mediate chemotaxis for PBLs, may promote the inflammatory response and host defence via activating NF-κB signalling. To our knowledge, this is the first report on functional identification of a IL-17C in teleost.

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