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Crit Care Med. 2002 Jan;30(1 Suppl):S27-35.

Macrophage migration inhibitory factor.

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Picower Institute for Medical Research, Manhasset, NY 11030, USA.


Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) has been proposed to be the physiologic counter-regulator of glucocorticoid action within the immune system. In this role, MIF's position within the cytokine cascade is to act in concert with glucocorticoids to control both the "set point" and the magnitude of the inflammatory response. As well as overriding the immunosuppressive effects of glucocorticoids, it is now well established that MIF has a direct proinflammatory role in inflammatory diseases, such as sepsis, rheumatoid arthritis, and glomerulonephritis. The functions of MIF within the immune system are both unique and diverse, and although a unified molecular mechanism of action remains to be elucidated, there have been significant advances in our understanding of how MIF affects cellular processes. This review discusses the pathogenic role of MIF in inflammatory disease and highlights the novel structural, functional, and mechanistic properties of MIF.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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