Hamdan Medical Journal (previously the Journal of Medical Sciences)

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THl/TH2 Cytokine Fingerprinting for Probing Diseases: From the Bench to the Clinic

Mohamed L Salem, David J. Cole
Published in : Journal of Medical Sciences ; Vol 1, No 2 (2008)
DOI : 10.2174/1996327000801020021


Cytokines play crucial roles in all aspects of health and diseases. They influence immune expression, the development of immunologic memory, and regulation of antigen-specific and nonspecific immune activation. Based on their production by T helper (TH) cells, cytokines are categorized into TH1 and TH2 types. TH1 type includes inflammatory cytokines and growth factors. The former induces signal three that bridge innate and adaptive immunity, whilst the latter sustains proliferation and survival of T cells. Therefore, TH1 cytokines profoundly mediate generation of preventive immune responses toward infectious diseases and cancer. By contrast, TH2 cytokines are anti-inflammatory through suppression of THl-mediated immune responses, but they also accelerate TH2-mediated diseases. This article describes the impact of the THl/TH2 cytokines on shaping the nature of the immune cell responses to inflammation, infection, and cancer. We predict that THl/TH2 could be considered as a fingerprint for probing the identity of diseases. Fundamental knowledge of the design of cytokine-based therapeutic strategies is now reaching the phase of application and a number of cytokines are already on the market and many others are under clinical investigation.


Cytokines; THl; TH2; inflammation; antiinflammatory

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