IL17, also known as IL17a, is a cytokine belongs to the IL-17 family. Cytokines are proteinaceous signaling compounds that are major mediators of the immune response. They control many different cellular functions including proliferation, differentiation and cell survival/apoptosis but are also involved in several pathophysiological processes including viral infections and autoimmune diseases. Cytokines are synthesized under various stimuli by a variety of cells of both the innate (monocytes, macrophages, dendritic cells) and adaptive (T- and B-cells) immune systems. The IL-17 family of cytokines includes six members, IL-17/IL-17A, IL-17B, IL-17C, IL-17D, IL-17E/IL-25, and IL-17F, which are produced by multiple cell types. IL-17 regulates the activities of NF-kappaB and mitogen-activated protein kinases. This cytokine can stimulate the expression of IL6 and cyclooxygenase-2 (PTGS2/COX-2), as well as enhance the production of nitric oxide (NO). High levels of IL-17 are associated with several chronic inflammatory diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and multiple sclerosis.
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