Interleukin-21 (IL-21) is a cytokine that has broad effects on both innate and adaptive immune responses. The roles of IL-21 in determining immunity to infections are currently being defined, and notably, it has been shown that IL-21 is most critical for sustaining T cell responses during chronic viral infections. This article discusses our current understanding of the immunobiology of IL-21, as well as its known and potential roles in influencing immunity to infections.
Copyright © 2010 Institut Pasteur. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.