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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2000 Aug 29;97(18):10144-9.

Human interleukin-10-related T cell-derived inducible factor: molecular cloning and functional characterization as an hepatocyte-stimulating factor.

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  • 1Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Brussels Branch and the Experimental Medicine Unit, Christian de Duve Institute of Cellular Pathology, Université Catholique de Louvain, Avenue Hippocrate 74, B1200-Brussels, Belgium.


IL-10-related T cell-derived inducible factor (IL-TIF or IL-21) is a new cytokine structurally related to IL-10 and originally identified in the mouse as a gene induced by IL-9 in T cells and mast cells. Here, we report the cloning of the human IL-TIF cDNA, which shares 79% amino acid identity with mouse IL-TIF and 25% identity with human IL-10. Recombinant human IL-TIF was found to activate signal transducer and activator of transcription factors-1 and -3 in several hepatoma cell lines. IL-TIF stimulation of HepG2 human hepatoma cells up-regulated the production of acute phase reactants such as serum amyloid A, alpha1-antichymotrypsin, and haptoglobin. Although IL-10 and IL-TIF have distinct activities, antibodies directed against the beta chain of the IL-10 receptor blocked the induction of acute phase reactants by IL-TIF, indicating that this chain is a common component of the IL-10 and IL-TIF receptors. Similar acute phase reactant induction was observed in mouse liver upon IL-TIF injection, and IL-TIF expression was found to be rapidly increased after lipopolysaccharide (LPS) injection, suggesting that this cytokine contributes to the inflammatory response in vivo.

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