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Interleukins in inflammation

  • Jonathan Weitzman
Genome Biology20034:spotlight-20030217-01

https://doi.org/10.1186/gb-spotlight-20030217-01

Published: 17 February 2003

Keywords

Knockout MouseInflammatory DiseaseExperimental Autoimmune EncephalomyelitisDisease ModelCytokine Expression

Figuring out the roles of individual cytokines can be complicated by the fact that they may share common functional subunits. Interleukin-12 (IL-12) is a heterodimer of p35 and p40 subunits, and is thought to play a key role in T-cell-dependent immunity and inflammation. In the February 13 Nature Cua et al. report that IL-23, a heterodimer of the IL-12 p40 subunit together with a distinct p19 subunit, is perhaps a more important factor in autoimmune inflammation (Nature 2003, 421:744-748). They used knockout mice, and cytokine replacement studies, to address the role of the p19, p35 or p40 subunits in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an inflammatory disease model. IL-23, but not IL-12, was essential for the development of EAE. IL-23 appears to directly activate macrophages in vivo, thereby inducing cytokine expression and late-stage inflammation.

References

  1. Interleukin-12 and the regulation of innate resistance and adaptive immunity.Google Scholar
  2. Nature, [http://www.nature.com]

Copyright

© BioMed Central Ltd 2003

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