Cytokines: Names and numbers you should care about

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50 Citations (Scopus)


Cytokines play an important role in host defense against microorganisms. They orchestrate innate immunity by inducing protective local inflammation and systemic acute phase responses. Cytokines are important in initiating, amplifying, directing, mediating, and regulating adaptive immunity. Unfortunately, they may also direct tissue damage if excessive responses occur or if they are involved in directing and mediating autoimmunity. Under these circumstances, cytokines are potential therapeutic targets. Over the last 20 years, we have seen the successful development and clinical implementation of biologic strategies that target key cytokines in specific inflammatory diseases with efficacy, specificity, and toxicity profiles challenging conventional drug therapies. These therapies are finding new applications and many new agents show promise. Unfortunately, these new cytokine-based therapies have had little effect on renal disease. This review provides evidence that common renal diseases, including those causing AKI and the autoimmune proliferative and crescentic forms of GN, have cytokine mediation profiles that suggest they would be susceptible to cytokine-targeting therapeutic strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2243 - 2254
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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