, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 425-442
Date: 06 May 2006

Interleukin-12 to interleukin ‘infinity’: the rationale for future therapeutic cytokine targeting

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Introduction

Chronic inflammatory disorders comprise a significant source of morbidity, mortality and societal cost. Conventional therapeutics have relied on rather broad spectrum inhibitors derived often from the cytotoxic drug armamentarium, or from non-specific immune modulatory agents derived on the basis of broad immune suppression. More recently has arisen the notion that immune-based therapies might be optimised on the basis of underlying disease pathogenesis. In this respect, the success of TNF blockade across a range of inflammatory diseases, initially rheumatoid arthritis, then psoriasis and Crohn’s disease, has provoked significant interest in understanding the wider biology and functional effects of a large number of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the context of human disease. The present review will consider those novel cytokines that may offer therapeutic utility in the future. Cytokines that are already subjects to clinical intervention, including TNF, IL-1 and IL-6, are n