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Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2014 Nov;30(6):547-52. doi: 10.1097/MOG.0000000000000118.

Cytokines and mucosal immunity.

Author information

1
aAcademic Department of Gastroenterology, Kapodistrian University of Athens, Laikon Hospital, Athens, Greece bDivision of Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW:

Cytokines are integral mediators for maintaining intestinal mucosal homeostasis, as well as prominent effector molecules during chronic gut inflammatory diseases. This review focuses on recent studies of the role of specific cytokines in mucosal immunity.

RECENT FINDINGS:

Dichotomous, or even opposing, functions have been described for several cytokines involved in intestinal innate immunity (most notably for members of the interleukin-1 family), which depend on the specific inflammatory conditions within the intestinal mucosa. For example, both interleukin-1α and interleukin-33 exhibit 'alarmin'-type properties that can signal tissue or cell damage, which further add to their well described proinflammatory roles. Costimulatory molecules of the tumor necrosis factor/tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily, such as TNF-like cytokine 1A and LIGHT, are actively involved in mucosal proinflammatory pathways, but also may exert protection against infectious agents to facilitate recovery from acute inflammation. Finally, innate lymphoid cells are increasingly recognized as important cellular sources of pivotal mucosal cytokines, including the interleukin-23/T helper 17 cytokine, interleukin-22.

SUMMARY:

Elucidating the complexity of cytokine signaling within the normal mucosa and during acute and chronic inflammation will be a pivotal step toward understanding the pathogenesis of immune-mediated gut diseases and developing effective therapies to treat them.

PMID:
25203451
PMCID:
PMC4234041
DOI:
10.1097/MOG.0000000000000118
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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