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International Immunology

Year: 2010  |  Volume: 22  |  Issue: 5  |  Page No.: 341 - 345

The study of cytokines by Japanese researchers: a historical perspective

A Kumanogoh and M. Ogata

Abstract

Cytokines play vital roles in both innate and adaptive immunity, in which they regulate immune and inflammatory responses and maintain immunological homeostasis. In addition to the immune system, they also exert diverse functions in other cells. Cytokines have pleiotropic functions and thus the molecular identification of cytokines and their receptors has been fundamental for understanding their mechanisms of action in several physiological and pathological conditions. A number of Japanese scientists have made significant contributions to the identification of cytokines, their receptors and signalling pathways, and application of these novel observations to the clinic has made possible the development of novel therapies for various immune diseases and related disorders. Here we present an overview of cytokines and their receptors identified in recent years by Japanese researchers.

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