Interleukin-17F (IL-17F), produced by Th17 cells and other immune cells, is a member of IL-17 cytokine family with highest homology to IL-17A. IL-17F has been shown to have multiple functions in inflammatory responses. While IL-17A plays important roles in cancer development, the function of IL-17F in tumorigenesis has not yet been elucidated. In the current study, we found that IL-17F is expressed in normal human colonic epithelial cells, but this expression is greatly decreased in colon cancer tissues. To examine the roles of IL-17F in colon cancer, we have used IL-17F over-expressing colon cancer cell lines and IL-17F-deficient mice. Our data showed decreased tumor growth of IL-17F-transfected HCT116 cells comparing to mock transfectants when transplanted in nude mice. Conversely, there were increased colonic tumor numbers and tumor areas in Il-17f−/− mice than those from wild-type controls after colon cancer induction. These results indicate that IL-17F plays an inhibitory role in colon tumorigenesis in vivo. In IL-17F over-expressing tumors, there was no significant change in leukocyte infiltration; instead, we found decreased VEGF levels and CD31+ cells. While the VEGF levels were increased in the colon tissues of Il-17f−/− mice with colon cancer. Together, our findings demonstrate a protective role for IL-17F in colon cancer development, possibly via inhibiting tumor angiogenesis.
Tong, Z., Yang, X. O., Yan, H., Liu, W., Niu, X., Shi, Y., … Dong, C. (2012). A protective role by interleukin-17f in colon tumorigenesis. PLoS ONE, 7(4). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0034959