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Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2011 Sep;7(5):603-9. doi: 10.1586/eci.11.60.

Understanding the link between the IL-6 cytokine family and pregnancy: implications for future therapeutics.

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Department of Obstetrics, University Hospital of Jena, Bachstrasse 18, 07743 Jena, Germany.


Cytokines are involved in almost all processes during the menstrual cycle, the fertilization period and pregnancy. They are expressed in numerous reproduction-related body fluids and tissues. Disorders of cytokine expression patterns may cause pregnancy pathologies. Therefore, cytokines have the potential as new biomarkers in different body compartments for a variety of such pathologies. Furthermore, cytokines may also serve to treat fertility and pregnancy disorders. The IL-6-like family of cytokines is an intensively investigated group of cytokines with well-accepted functions in fertility and pregnancy. This article summarizes current knowledge on IL-6-like cytokines in regard of their role in reproduction and their potential for new strategies in the treatment of reproductive pathologies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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