Signaling and functional properties of interleukin-16

Int Rev Immunol. 1998;16(5-6):523-40. doi: 10.3109/08830189809043007.


Interleukin-16 is secreted from a variety of immune cells as a peptide of 17 kDa which aggregates into tetrameric form essential for IL-16s direct interaction with and cross linking of its receptor, the CD4 antigen. IL-16 stimulation of CD4+ cells results in the induction of cell motility, and in addition can function as a competence growth factor for CD4+ lymphocytes. These activities suggest that IL-16 could play a role in the accumulation and activation of CD4+ cells recruited to sites of inflammation. Along those lines, IL-16 has been identified at sites of inflammation associated with several different disease states. Its function as a competence growth factor specifically for CD4+ T cells may be useful for immune reconstitution in immunodeficiency diseases such as AIDS.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD4 Antigens / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-16 / immunology
  • Interleukin-16 / metabolism
  • Interleukin-16 / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction*


  • CD4 Antigens
  • Interleukin-16