Eveline Roma Meinen

Master Student

Cytokines are small proteins with immunomodulatory functions and can promote complex immune-related networks in health and disease. However, cytokines can play a role beyond inflammation and regulate cell differentiation during development and tissue regeneration. The cytokine IL-23 is a central orchestrator of pro-inflammatory responses in autoimmune diseases such as Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Since the expression of IL-23R on macrophages and DCs plays a role in the pathogenesis of IBD, blocking IL-23 signaling has been used to treat IBD patients. However, intestinal epithelial cells (IEC) also express IL- 23R and can mount a protective response to IL-23 signaling during intestinal inflammation. The potential consequences of blocking IL-23 signaling in intestinal cell differentiation remain unknown. In this study we will combine zebrafish and mouse intestinal organoids to investigate the impact of IL-23 signaling in IEC differentiation.