J Leukoc Biol. 2000 Jun;67(6):757-66. doi: 10.1002/jlb.67.6.757.


Interleukin 16 (IL-16) was initially described in 1982 as the first T cell chemoattractant. Through interaction with CD4, IL-16 has now been characterized as a chemoattractant for a variety of CD4+ immune cells. Recent in vivo studies have more fully characterized IL-16 as an immunomodulatory cytokine that contributes to the regulatory process of CD4+ cell recruitment and activation at sites of inflammation in association with asthma and several autoimmune diseases. Since its cloning in 1994, IL-16 structure and function have been studied extensively. This review addresses the current data regarding IL-16 protein and gene structure; the expanding list of cells capable of generating IL-16; the direct interaction of IL-16 with its receptor, CD4; and the functional bioactivities of IL-16 as they relate to inflammation and HIV-1 infection. In addition, potential therapeutic modalities for IL-16 relating to inflammation and immune reconstitution in HIV-1 infection are also discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD4 Antigens / immunology
  • HIV Infections / immunology
  • HIV-1 / immunology
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-16 / chemistry
  • Interleukin-16 / genetics
  • Interleukin-16 / immunology*
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Signal Transduction / immunology


  • CD4 Antigens
  • Interleukin-16
  • RNA, Messenger