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FASEB J. 1989 Oct;3(12):2379-88.

The interleukins.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Wake Forest University Medical Center, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27103.


The interactions between immune and inflammatory cells are mediated in large part by proteins, termed interleukins (IL), that are able to promote cell growth, differentiation, and functional activation. Seven interleukins have been described; each has unique biological activities as well as some that overlap with the others. Macrophages, cells that play important roles in both immunity and inflammation, produce IL 1 and IL 6, whereas T cells produce IL 2-IL 6 and bone marrow stromal cells produce IL 7. IL 1 and IL 6 not only play important roles in immune cell function, but also stimulate a spectrum of inflammatory cell types and induce fever. The growth and differentiation of eosinophils is markedly enhanced by IL 5. IL 2 is a potent proliferative signal for T cells, natural killer cells, and lymphokine-activated killer cells. IL 1, IL 3, IL 4, and IL 7 enhance the development of a variety of hematopoietic precursors. IL 4-IL 6 also serve to enhance B cell proliferation and antibody production. The understanding of interleukin structure and function has led to new and important insights into the fundamental biology of immunity and inflammation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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