Autoimmune diseases contain a large number of pathologies characterized by various factors that contribute to a breakdown in self-tolerance. Cytokine-mediated immunity plays an essential role in the pathogenesis of varieties of autoimmune diseases. Recent studies reveal that interleukin-35 (IL-35), a newly identified cytokine of IL-12 family, is implicated in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic sclerosis (SSc), etc. In this review, we will discuss the biological features of IL-35 and summarize recent advances in the role of IL-35 in the development and pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases; the discoveries gained from these findings might translate into future therapies for these diseases.
Keywords: Th17 cells; Treg cells; autoimmune diseases; interleukin-35; therapeutic agent.