Interleukin-9 (IL-9) is a multifunctional cytokine produced by activated TH2 clones in vitro and during TH2-like T cell responses in vivo. The IL-9 receptor is a member of the hemopoietin receptor superfamily and interacts with the gamma chain of the IL-2 receptor for signal transduction. Various observations indicate that IL-9 is actively involved in mast cell responses by inducing the proliferation and differentiation of these cells. The role of IL-9 in T cell responses is less clear. Although freshly isolated normal T cells do not respond to IL-9, this cytokine induces the proliferation of murine T cell lymphomas in vitro and in vivo overexpression of IL-9 results in the development of thymic lymphomas. In the human, the existence of an IL-9-mediated autocrine loop has been suggested for some malignancies such as Hodgkin's disease. Other potential biological targets for IL-9 include B lymphocytes, hematopoietic progenitors, and immature neuronal cell lines.