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Interleukin-18 (IL-18) is a cytokine produced by macrophages and other cells that belongs to the IL-1 superfamily. IL-18 works together with IL-12 to induce cell-mediated immunity following infection with microbial products like lipopolysaccharide (LPS). After stimulation with IL-18, natural killer (NK) cells and certain T cells release another important cytokine called interferon-γ (IFN-γ) or type II interferon that plays an important role in activating the macrophages or other cells. Apart from its physiological role, IL-18 is also able to induce severe inflammatory reactions, which suggests its role in certain inflammatory disorders.
The protein encoded by this gene is a proinflammatory cytokine. This cytokine can induce the IFN-gamma production of T cells. The combination of this cytokine and IL12 has been shown to inhibit IL4 dependent IgE and IgG1 production, and enhance IgG2a production of B cells. IL-18 binding protein (IL18BP) can specifically interact with this cytokine, and thus negatively regulate its biological activity.
Categories: Human proteins | Cytokines
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Interleukin_18". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|