OBJECTIVE: Dysregulated immune responses are the cause of IBDs. Studies in mice and humans suggest a central role of interleukin (IL)-23-producing mononuclear phagocytes in disease pathogenesis. Mechanistic insights into the regulation of IL-23 are prerequisite for selective IL-23 targeting therapies as part of personalised medicine. DESIGN: We performed transcriptomic analysis to investigate IL-23 expression in human mononuclear phagocytes and peripheral blood mononuclear cells. We investigated the regulation of IL-23 expression and used single-cell RNA sequencing to derive a transcriptomic signature of hyperinflammatory monocytes. Using gene network correlation analysis, we deconvolved this signature into components associated with homeostasis and inflammation in patient biopsy samples. RESULTS: We characterised monocyte subsets of healthy individuals and patients with IBD that express IL-23. We identified autosensing and paracrine sensing of IL-1α/IL-1β and IL-10 as key cytokines that control IL-23-producing monocytes. Whereas Mendelian genetic defects in IL-10 receptor signalling induced IL-23 secretion after lipopolysaccharide stimulation, whole bacteria exposure induced IL-23 production in controls via acquired IL-10 signalling resistance. We found a transcriptional signature of IL-23-producing inflammatory monocytes that predicted both disease and resistance to antitumour necrosis factor (TNF) therapy and differentiated that from an IL-23-associated lymphocyte differentiation signature that was present in homeostasis and in disease. CONCLUSION: Our work identifies IL-10 and IL-1 as critical regulators of monocyte IL-23 production. We differentiate homeostatic IL-23 production from hyperinflammation-associated IL-23 production in patients with severe ulcerating active Crohn's disease and anti-TNF treatment non-responsiveness. Altogether, we identify subgroups of patients with IBD that might benefit from IL-23p19 and/or IL-1α/IL-1β-targeting therapies upstream of IL-23.
inflammatory bowel disease, interleukins, mucosal immunology