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Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2010 Sep;9(9):703-18. doi: 10.1038/nrd2805.

Averting inflammation by targeting the cytokine environment.

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Molecular Biomedicine, Institute of Integrative Biology, ETH Zürich, Wagistrasse 27, 8952 Zürich, Switzerland.


Cytokines are key instigators and regulators of immune responses and therefore hold great potential as targets for new therapeutic strategies. However, the selection of which cytokines to target, and in particular the identification of which cytokines regulate the rate-limiting steps of disease pathways, is crucial to the success of such strategies. Moreover, balancing the need for ablating pathological inflammatory responses and simultaneously maintaining the ability to control infectious agents is a key consideration. Recent advances in our understanding of cytokine networks, as well as technical progress in blocking cytokines in vivo, are likely to be a source for new drugs that can control chronic inflammatory diseases.

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