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Cytokines and anti-cytokines as therapeutics--an update.

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Cytokines which comprise of a family of proteins--interleukins, lymphokines, monokines, interferons, and chemokines, are important components of the immune system. They act in concert with specific cytokine inhibitors and soluble cytokine receptors to regulate the human immune response. Their physiologic role in inflammation and pathologic role in systemic inflammatory states are now well recognized. An imbalance in cytokine production or cytokine receptor expression and/or dysregulation of a cytokine process contributes to various pathological disorders. Research is progressing rapidly in the area of cytokines and their therapeutic targets, the two major therapeutic modalities being the administration of purified recombinant cytokines and the use of their antagonists in various inflammatory disorders. However, given the large number of cytokines, it is disappointing that only relatively few can be used clinically. In the present article, we have made an attempt to review and present a glimpse of the history as well as up to date information that is pertinent to cytokines and anti-cytokine therapies in the treatment of cancer, autoimmune disorders and various other related diseases.

Keywords: cytokine, cytokines, disorders

Authored by Tayal V, Kalra BS. Department of Pharmacology, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, 110002, India.

Published in Eur J Pharmacol. 2008 Jan 28;579(1-3):1-12. Epub 2007 Oct 25. The full report is available online. link   A subscription to the periodical may be required.

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