Activin A: From sometime reproductive factor to genuine cytokine

David James Phillips, Kristian Lee Jones, Iain James Clarke, Jean-Pierre Yves Scheerlinck, David Morritz de Kretser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The growth factor, activin A, was initially characterized as a putative reproductive hormone but is now known to have many other divergent roles. One of these is during inflammation. Following intravenous injection of bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) into sheep, activin A is released extremely rapidly into the circulation. The release of activin A appears to be independent of fever, prostaglandins or other key proinflammatory cytokines such as TNF-alpha or IL-1beta. While the precise roles and function of this factor in inflammation are yet to be elucidated, the activin response occurs in other mammalian species besides the sheep and elevated activin has been documented for a number of clinical inflammatory conditions. Activin A therefore seems to be part of the regulatory component of the innate immune response.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23 - 27
Number of pages5
JournalVeterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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