Send to

Choose Destination
Acta Biochim Pol. 2016;63(1):59-63. doi: 10.18388/abp.2015_1153. Epub 2016 Feb 17.

Interleukin 18 (IL-18) as a target for immune intervention.

Author information

Division of Cellular Immunology, Department of Immunology and Infectious Biology, Institute of Microbiology, Biotechnology and Immunology, University of Lodz, Łódź, Poland.


Interleukin 18 (IL-18) is a pleiotropic cytokine involved in the regulation of innate and acquired immune response. In the milieu of IL-12 or IL-15, IL-18 is a potent inducer of IFN-gamma in natural killer (NK) cells and CD4 T helper (Th) 1 lymphocytes. However, IL-18 also modulates Th2 and Th17 cell responses, as well as the activity of CD8 cytotoxic cells and neutrophils, in a host microenvironment-dependent manner. It is produced by various hematopoietic and nonhematopoietic cells, including dendritic cells and macrophages. In an organism, bioactivity of the cytokine depends on the intensity of IL-18 production, the level of its natural inhibitory protein - IL-18BP (IL-18 binding protein) and the surface expression of IL-18 receptors (IL-18R) on the responding cells. This review summarizes the biology of the IL-18/IL-18BP/IL-18R system and its role in the host defense against infections. The prospects for IL-18 application in immunotherapeutic or prophylactic interventions in infectious and non-infectious diseases are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Acta Biochemica Polonica, Inc.
Loading ...
Support Center