Inappropriate IL-17 responses are implicated in chronic tissue inflammation. IL-23 contributes to Trypanosoma cruzi–specific IL-17 production, but the molecular mechanisms underlying regulation of the IL-23–IL-17 axis during T. cruzi infection are poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate a novel function of BATF2 as a negative regulator of Il23a in innate immune cells. IL-17, but not IFN-γ, was more highly produced by CD4+ T cells from spleens and livers of T. cruzi–infected Batf2−/− mice than by those of wild-type mice. In this context, Batf2−/− mice showed severe multiorgan pathology despite reduced parasite burden. T. cruzi–induced IL-23 production was increased in Batf2−/− innate immune cells. The T. cruzi–induced enhanced Th17 response was abrogated in Batf2−/−Il23a−/− mice. The interaction of BATF2 with c-JUN prevented c-JUN–ATF-2 complex formation, inhibiting Il23a expression. These results demonstrate that IFN-γ–inducible BATF2 in innate immune cells controls Th17-mediated immunopathology by suppressing IL-23 production during T. cruzi infection.
- Submitted: 11 July 2016
- Revision received 8 December 2016
- Accepted: 7 February 2017
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