Interleukin 21

Living reference work entry

Abstract

Interleukin-21 is a type I cytokine with actions on both lymphoid and myeloid cells. Soon after its discovery, IL-21 was shown to induce cytotoxic activity in both CD8+ T cells and NK cells, leading to the elucidation of its antitumor activity in animal models. This preclinical work led to the inclusion of IL-21 in human clinical trials in patients with advanced solid tumors, including melanoma and renal cell carcinoma. Encouraging results were seen with the use of IL-21 as a single agent, and it is possible that IL-21 might yield enhanced results as a component of combination therapy or in adoptive immunotherapy approaches for the generation of CD8+ T cells with potent antitumor activity.

Keywords

IL-21 Anti-tumor CD8+ T cells NK cells 

Notes

Acknowledgments

R.S. and W.J.L. are supported by the Division of Intramural Research, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and National Institutes of Health.

Conflict of interest statement: R.S. and W.J.L. are inventors on patents and patent applications related to IL-21.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Molecular ImmunologyNational Heart, Lung, and Blood InstituteBethesdaUSA

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