Interleukin-21 in Immune and Allergic Diseases

Author(s): Massimiliano Sarra, Maria Laura Cupi, Francesco Pallone, Giovanni Monteleone

Journal Name: Inflammation & Allergy - Drug Targets (Discontinued)
Formerly Current Drug Targets - Inflammation & Allergy

Volume 11 , Issue 4 , 2012


Interleukin-21 (IL-21), a cytokine produced by various subsets of activated CD4+ T cells, plays a major role in the control of innate and adaptive immune responses. IL-21 biological activity is mediated by binding of the cytokine to a heterodimeric receptor, composed of a specific subunit, termed IL-21 receptor (IL-21R), and the common γ-chain, that is shared with IL-2, IL-4, IL-7, IL-9 and IL-15 receptors. IL-21 stimulates the proliferation of CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes and regulates the profile of cytokines secreted by these cells, drives the differentiation of B cells into memory cells and Ig-secreting plasma cells, and enhances the activity of natural killer cells. IL-21 controls also the activity of non-immune cells, such as epithelial cells and stromal cells. The demonstration that IL-21 is involved in the immune responses occurring in chronic inflammatory and allergic diseases suggests that either disrupting or enhancing IL-21 signalling may be useful in specific clinical settings.

Keywords: IBD, IL-21, IL-21R, cytokine, B cells, epithelial cells, stromal cells, T lymphocytes, dendritic cells (DC)

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Article Details

Year: 2012
Published on: 13 June, 2012
Page: [313 - 319]
Pages: 7
DOI: 10.2174/187152812800959040
Price: $58

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