Macrophage migration inhibitory factor: a regulator of innate immunity

Nat Rev Immunol. 2003 Oct;3(10):791-800. doi: 10.1038/nri1200.


For more than a quarter of a century, macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) has been a mysterious cytokine. In recent years, MIF has assumed an important role as a pivotal regulator of innate immunity. MIF is an integral component of the host antimicrobial alarm system and stress response that promotes the pro-inflammatory functions of immune cells. A rapidly increasing amount of literature indicates that MIF is implicated in the pathogenesis of sepsis, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, suggesting that MIF-directed therapies might offer new treatment opportunities for human diseases in the future.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmune Diseases / etiology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / genetics
  • Immunity, Innate / immunology*
  • Inflammation / etiology
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Macrophage Migration-Inhibitory Factors / genetics
  • Macrophage Migration-Inhibitory Factors / immunology*
  • Macrophages / immunology*
  • Sepsis / etiology
  • Sepsis / immunology


  • Macrophage Migration-Inhibitory Factors