Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor (MIF): A Pro-Inflammatory Mediator of Sepsis
Over the last ten years, the protein known as macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) has emerged to be a central cytokine of the innate immune system and was found to play an important part in the control of inflammatory responses. MIF is considered to be one of the first cytokine activities described. Investigations of the mechanisms of delayed-type hypersensitivity reactions conducted in the late 1960s have led to the recognition of an activity that inhibited the random migration of guinea pig peritoneal exudate cells. In 1966, Bloom and David associated this macrophage migration inhibitory activity to a soluble, non-dialyzable factor released by sensitized lymphocytes (1,2). These reports stimulated the curiosity of immunologists as MIF was one of the first lymphokines to be described. Over the next 20 years, MIF was found to enhance a broad-spectrum of macrophage functions, including adherence, phagocytosis, spreading, and tumoricidal activity (reviewed in reference 3). The biological activities ascribed to MIF remained uncertain as cytokines such IFNγ and IL-4 also were observed to inhibit macrophage migration. The cloning of a human MIF cDNA in 1989 was a milestone in the investigations of the biochemical and biological properties of MIF (4). However, initial studies were performed with unpurified recombinant MIF protein that was later found to contain a mitogenic contaminant.
KeywordsSeptic Shock Migration Inhibitory Factor Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor Migration Inhibitory Factor Expression Migration Inhibitory Factor Protein
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