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      Interleukin-6, a Major Cytokine in the Central Nervous System

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          Abstract

          Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a cytokine originally identified almost 30 years ago as a B-cell differentiation factor, capable of inducing the maturation of B cells into antibody-producing cells. As with many other cytokines, it was soon realized that IL-6 was not a factor only involved in the immune response, but with many critical roles in major physiological systems including the nervous system. IL-6 is now known to participate in neurogenesis (influencing both neurons and glial cells), and in the response of mature neurons and glial cells in normal conditions and following a wide arrange of injury models. In many respects, IL-6 behaves in a neurotrophin-like fashion, and seemingly makes understandable why the cytokine family that it belongs to is known as neuropoietins. Its expression is affected in several of the main brain diseases, and animal models strongly suggest that IL-6 could have a role in the observed neuropathology and that therefore it is a clear target of strategic therapies.

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          Most cited references 243

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          Reciprocal developmental pathways for the generation of pathogenic effector TH17 and regulatory T cells.

          On activation, T cells undergo distinct developmental pathways, attaining specialized properties and effector functions. T-helper (T(H)) cells are traditionally thought to differentiate into T(H)1 and T(H)2 cell subsets. T(H)1 cells are necessary to clear intracellular pathogens and T(H)2 cells are important for clearing extracellular organisms. Recently, a subset of interleukin (IL)-17-producing T (T(H)17) cells distinct from T(H)1 or T(H)2 cells has been described and shown to have a crucial role in the induction of autoimmune tissue injury. In contrast, CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ regulatory T (T(reg)) cells inhibit autoimmunity and protect against tissue injury. Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) is a critical differentiation factor for the generation of T(reg) cells. Here we show, using mice with a reporter introduced into the endogenous Foxp3 locus, that IL-6, an acute phase protein induced during inflammation, completely inhibits the generation of Foxp3+ T(reg) cells induced by TGF-beta. We also demonstrate that IL-23 is not the differentiation factor for the generation of T(H)17 cells. Instead, IL-6 and TGF-beta together induce the differentiation of pathogenic T(H)17 cells from naive T cells. Our data demonstrate a dichotomy in the generation of pathogenic (T(H)17) T cells that induce autoimmunity and regulatory (Foxp3+) T cells that inhibit autoimmune tissue injury.
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            A meta-analysis of cytokines in major depression.

            Major depression occurs in 4.4% to 20% of the general population. Studies suggest that major depression is accompanied by immune dysregulation and activation of the inflammatory response system (IRS). Our objective was to quantitatively summarize the data on concentrations of specific cytokines in patients diagnosed with a major depressive episode and controls. We performed a meta-analysis of studies measuring cytokine concentration in patients with major depression, with a database search of the English literature (to August 2009) and a manual search of references. Twenty-four studies involving unstimulated measurements of cytokines in patients meeting DSM criteria for major depression were included in the meta-analysis; 13 for tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, 9 for interleukin (IL)-1beta, 16 for IL-6, 5 for IL-4, 5 for IL-2, 4 for IL-8, 6 for IL-10, and 4 for interferon (IFN)-gamma. There were significantly higher concentrations of TNF-alpha (p < .00001), weighted mean difference (WMD) (95% confidence interval) 3.97 pg/mL (2.24 to 5.71), in depressed subjects compared with control subjects (438 depressed/350 nondepressed). Also, IL-6 concentrations were significantly higher (p < .00001) in depressed subjects compared with control subjects (492 depressed/400 nondepressed) with an overall WMD of 1.78 pg/mL (1.23 to 2.33). There were no significant differences among depressed and nondepressed subjects for the other cytokines studied. This meta-analysis reports significantly higher concentrations of the proinflammatory cytokines TNF-alpha and IL-6 in depressed subjects compared with control subjects. While both positive and negative results have been reported in individual studies, this meta-analytic result strengthens evidence that depression is accompanied by activation of the IRS. Copyright 2010 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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              Principles of interleukin (IL)-6-type cytokine signalling and its regulation.

              The IL (interleukin)-6-type cytokines IL-6, IL-11, LIF (leukaemia inhibitory factor), OSM (oncostatin M), ciliary neurotrophic factor, cardiotrophin-1 and cardiotrophin-like cytokine are an important family of mediators involved in the regulation of the acute-phase response to injury and infection. Besides their functions in inflammation and the immune response, these cytokines play also a crucial role in haematopoiesis, liver and neuronal regeneration, embryonal development and fertility. Dysregulation of IL-6-type cytokine signalling contributes to the onset and maintenance of several diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis and various types of cancer (e.g. multiple myeloma and prostate cancer). IL-6-type cytokines exert their action via the signal transducers gp (glycoprotein) 130, LIF receptor and OSM receptor leading to the activation of the JAK/STAT (Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription) and MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) cascades. This review focuses on recent progress in the understanding of the molecular mechanisms of IL-6-type cytokine signal transduction. Emphasis is put on the termination and modulation of the JAK/STAT signalling pathway mediated by tyrosine phosphatases, the SOCS (suppressor of cytokine signalling) feedback inhibitors and PIAS (protein inhibitor of activated STAT) proteins. Also the cross-talk between the JAK/STAT pathway with other signalling cascades is discussed.
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                Author and article information

                Affiliations
                1. Instituto de Neurociencias y Departamento de Biología Celular, Fisiología e Inmunología, Facultad de Biociencias, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
                2. Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Department of Biochemistry, University of Washington, WA, USA.
                Author notes
                ✉ Corresponding author: Dr. Juan Hidalgo, Departamento de Biología Celular, Fisiología e Inmunología, Unidad de Fisiología Animal, Facultad de Biociencias, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain 08193. Tel. 34 93 581 20 37; fax: 34 93 581 23 90; email: Juan.Hidalgo@ 123456uab.es .

                Competing Interests: The authors declare that no competing interest exists.

                Journal
                Int J Biol Sci
                Int. J. Biol. Sci
                ijbs
                International Journal of Biological Sciences
                Ivyspring International Publisher (Sydney )
                1449-2288
                2012
                25 October 2012
                : 8
                : 9
                : 1254-1266
                23136554
                3491449
                10.7150/ijbs.4679
                ijbsv08p1254
                © Ivyspring International Publisher. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/). Reproduction is permitted for personal, noncommercial use, provided that the article is in whole, unmodified, and properly cited.
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