Interleukin 32: a novel player in the control of infectious diseases

J Leukoc Biol. 2017 Jan;101(1):39-52. doi: 10.1189/jlb.4RU0416-175RR. Epub 2016 Oct 28.


Interleukin 32 (IL-32) is a proinflammatory cytokine, expressed as 9 distinct isoforms. The most active isoform is the predominantly intracellular-functioning IL-32γ. Involvement of IL-32 in infectious diseases is increasingly being appreciated. Production of IL-32 promotes pathways that serve to control bacterial infection, especially those caused by mycobacteria. A similar role for this cytokine is observed in the cellular response to viral infections. In addition to its protective effects against microorganisms, IL-32 is involved in immunopathogenesis of some infectious diseases. In parasitic diseases, it has been demonstrated that this cytokine is induced by Leishmania infection. In this review, we summarize the present data on the role of IL-32 in infectious diseases, highlighting this cytokine as new target for control of infections.

Keywords: bacteria; cytokines; viruses.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Infections / metabolism
  • Communicable Diseases / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Interleukins / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • Signal Transduction
  • Virus Diseases / metabolism


  • Interleukins