The role of cytokines in Guillain-Barré syndrome

J Neurol. 2011 Apr;258(4):533-48. doi: 10.1007/s00415-010-5836-5. Epub 2010 Nov 23.


Cytokines play an important role in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases including Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) and its animal model experimental autoimmune neuritis (EAN). In this article, we reviewed the current knowledge of the role of cytokines such as TNF-α, IFN-γ, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-12, IL-18, IL-23, IL-17, IL-10, IL-4 and chemokines in GBS and EAN as unraveled by studies both in the clinic and the laboratory. However, these studies occasionally yield conflicting results, highlighting the complex role that cytokines play in the disease process. Efforts to modulate cytokine function in GBS and other autoimmune disease have shown efficiency indicating that cytokines are important therapeutic targets.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / immunology*
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / metabolism*
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / therapy
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Neuritis, Autoimmune, Experimental / immunology
  • Neuritis, Autoimmune, Experimental / metabolism
  • Neuritis, Autoimmune, Experimental / therapy


  • Cytokines