Interleukin-13: Characterization and biologic properties
Upon activation by antigen, helper T cells respond by secreting factors, called cytokines, that coordinate the immune response. The type of T-cell response initiated depends upon the antigenic stimulus and can result in a polarization of the spectrum of cytokines secreted. A subset of helper T cells, referred to as TH1 cells, secrete principally interleukin-2 (IL-2) and interferon- γ (IFN-γ) and induce delayed-type hypersensitivity reactions. Another T-cell subset, termed TH2, is characterized by the production of IL-4 and IL-5 and primarily appears to regulate antibody responses . The past few years have seen this ‘cytokine network’ increasing in complexity with the unremitting discovery of additional immunoregulatory proteins. The most recent additions to the cytokine network have been factors such as IL-13 and IL-15 which share many, but not all, of their biological activities with cytokines described previously, namely IL-4 and IL-2, respectively [2–4]. This coincidence of function is paralleled by these cytokines sharing at least some of their receptor components [5–7], and it is now clear that this mechanism is repetitively utilized in the immune system . A full understanding of the immune system will require knowledge of the role each newly described cytokine plays in immune responses. This review will discuss our current understanding of how IL-13 is utilized in immune reactions.
KeywordsHuman Polymorphonuclear Cell Cytokine Gene Cluster Regulate Antibody Response
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