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J Biomed Biotechnol. 2010;2010:605483. doi: 10.1155/2010/605483. Epub 2010 Apr 29.

A pivotal role for interleukin-27 in CD8+ T cell functions and generation of cytotoxic T lymphocytes.

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Intractable Disease Research Center, Tokyo Medical University, 6-1-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8402, Japan.


Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) play a critical role in the control of various cancers and infections, and therefore the molecular mechanisms of CTL generation are a critical issue in designing antitumor immunotherapy and vaccines which augment the development of functional and long-lasting memory CTLs. Interleukin (IL)-27, a member of the IL-6/IL-12 heterodimeric cytokine family, acts on naive CD4+ T cells and plays pivotal roles as a proinflammatory cytokine to promote the early initiation of type-1 helper differentiation and also as an antiinflammatory cytokine to limit the T cell hyperactivity and production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Recent studies revealed that IL-27 plays an important role in CD8+ T cells as well. Therefore, this article reviews current understanding of the role of IL-27 in CD8+ T cell functions and generation of CTLs.

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