Interleukin (IL)-36 is a subfamily, of the IL-1 super-family and includes IL-36α, IL-36β, IL-36γ, IL-38 and IL-36Ra. IL-36 cytokines are involved in the pathology of multiple tissues, including skin, lung, oral cavity, intestine, kidneys and joints. Recent studies suggest that IL-36 signaling regulates autoimmune disease in addition to antibacterial and antiviral responses. Most research has focused on IL-36 in skin diseases such as psoriasis, however, studies on intestinal diseases are also underway. This review outlines what is known about the bioactivity of the IL-36 subfamily and its role in the pathogenesis of intestinal diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, colorectal cancer, gut dysbacteriosis and infection, and proposes that IL-36 may be a target for novel therapeutic strategies to prevent or treat intestinal diseases.

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