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Cell Immunol. 2009;254(2):85-90. doi: 10.1016/j.cellimm.2008.09.001. Epub 2008 Oct 10.

The role of interferon gamma in regulation of CD4+ T-cells and its clinical implications.

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Division of Immunology and Genetics, John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University, ACT 2601, Australia.


Interferon gamma (IFNgamma) plays a central role in the immune response against infection and tumur immune surveillance. Its functions include not only activation of the host immune system to control microbial infections but also repression of autoimmune responses by turning on T-regulatory cells and increasing T effector cell apoptosis. Defects in IFNgamma and IFNgamma receptor genes have been associated with autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis. However, treatment of autoimmune diseases by supplementing with IFNgamma has been satisfactory due to its broad biological effects. Instead, its target T-regulatory cells may be used for the clinical treatment of autoimmune diseases. Future study could also focus on promotion of the beneficial effects of IFNgamma and blocking those unwanted IFNgamma-induced activities.

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