Interleukin 27: A double-edged sword for offense and defense

Hiroki Yoshida, Mako Nakaya, Yoshiyuki Miyazaki

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

112 Citations (Scopus)


Cytokine-mediated immunity plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of various diseases including infection and autoimmune diseases. IL-27, along with IL-12, -23, and -35, belongs to the IL-12 cytokine family. These family members play roles in regulation of Th cell differentiation. IL-27 is unique in that although it induces Th1 differentiation, the same cytokine suppresses immune responses. In the absence of IL-27-mediated immunosuppression, hyperproduction of various proinflammatory cytokines concomitant with severe inflammation is observed. The immunosuppressive effects of IL-27 depend on IL-2 suppression, inhibition of Th17 development, and induction of IL-10 production. Administration of IL-27 suppresses some diseases of autoimmune or allergic origin, demonstrating its potential in therapy of diseases mediated by inflammatory cytokines. In this review, we discuss recent studies about the role of IL-27 in immune regulation in view of its pro- and antiinflammatory properties and possible therapeutic application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1295-1303
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Leukocyte Biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Cell Biology


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