Multifunctional Interleukin-24 Resolves Neuroretina Autoimmunity via Diverse Mechanisms

Xuan Zhang, Cuiping Hu, Yajie Zhong, Dijie Qiao, Wei Chi, Huangxuan Shen, Waipo Chong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


IL-24 is a multifunctional cytokine that regulates both immune cells and epithelial cells. Although its elevation is associated with a number of autoimmune diseases, its tolerogenic properties against autoreactive T cells have recently been revealed in an animal model of central nervous system (CNS) autoimmunity by inhibiting the pathogenic Th17 response. To explore the potential of IL-24 as a therapeutic agent in CNS autoimmunity, we induced experimental autoimmune uveitis (EAU) in wildtype mice and intravitreally injected IL-24 into the inflamed eye after disease onset. We found that the progression of ocular inflammation was significantly inhibited in the IL-24-treated eye when compared to the control eye. More importantly, IL-24 treatment suppressed cytokine production from ocular-infiltrating, pathogenic Th1 and Th17 cells. In vitro experiments confirmed that IL-24 suppressed both Th1 and Th17 differentiation by regulating their master transcription factors T-bet and RORγt, respectively. In addition, we found that intravitreal injection of IL-24 suppressed the production of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines from the retinas of the EAU-inflamed eyes. This observation appears to be applicable in humans, as IL-24 similarly inhibits human retinal pigment epithelium cells ARPE-19. In conclusion, we report here that IL-24, as a multifunctional cytokine, is capable of resolving ocular inflammation in EAU mice by targeting both uveitogenic T cells and RPE cells. This study sheds new light on IL-24 as a potential therapeutic candidate for autoimmune uveitis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11988
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 9 Oct 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Catalysis
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • IL-24
  • T helper cells
  • RPE cells
  • autoimmune uveitis


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