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Immunol Cell Biol. 2012 Feb;90(2):137-48. doi: 10.1038/icb.2011.32. Epub 2011 May 3.

When versatility matters: activins/inhibins as key regulators of immunity.

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Departamento de Inmunología, Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, Mexico City, Mexico.


Activins and inhibins are members of the transforming growth factor-β superfamily that have been considered crucial regulators of cell processes, such as differentiation, proliferation and apoptosis, in different cell types. Initial studies about the function of activin A in the immune system focused on the regulation of hematopoiesis in the bone marrow under homeostatic and inflammatory conditions. Recent data provide a more comprehensive understanding about the role of activins/inhibins in the immune system. Novel findings included in this review point out the important requirement of activin/inhibin signaling to maintain the balance between homeostatic and inflammatory signals that are required for the optimal development and function of immune cells. The purpose of this review is to highlight the versatile nature of activins/inhibins as key regulators of both the innate and adaptive immune responses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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