Award Winner 2023

Award Winner 2023


Prof. Dr. Jan Hendrik Niess

Impact of IL-20 Cytokines on Eosinophilic Esophagitis

Award Ceremony

The article, published in Gut (, the team of Professor Jan Niess investigated chronic inflammation in eosinophilic esophagitis using multi-omics approaches and functional analyses. They discovered that active eosinophilic esophagitis is associated with an increased expression of members of the IL-20 cytokine subfamily, downregulating the expression of genes involved in esophageal barrier integrity. Genetic ablation of cytokine signaling attenuates experimental eosinophilic esophagitis. As the IL-20 subfamily-mediated epithelial barrier impairment is ERK-dependent, the authors demonstrated further that pharmacologic inhibition of ERK can rescue epithelial barrier impairment. These novel findings suggest that specific targeting of the IL-20 subfamily signaling pathway may offer a novel strategy for treating eosinophilic esophagitis.

Kaymak T et al. IL-20 subfamily cytokines impair the oesophageal epithelial barrier by diminishing filaggrin in eosinophilic oesophagitis. Gut. 2023 May;72(5):821-833.