Regulation of autoimmunity by proinflammatory cytokines

Curr Opin Immunol. 1998 Dec;10(6):669-76. doi: 10.1016/s0952-7915(98)80087-3.


Studies extending over a decade have provided compelling evidence to suggest that chronic expression of proinflammatory cytokines in vivo leads to unique regulatory properties that target the cognate immune response in a way that appears to be beneficial to the host. This review focuses on the prototypic proinflammatory cytokine tumour necrosis factor alpha, because recent studies of autoimmune disease in mice and man have unraveled a novel and unexpected immunosuppressive role for this inflammatory mediator during the effector phase of the autoimmune process. So far, T lymphocytes would appear to be important cellular targets of this immunoregulatory effect.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Autoimmunity / immunology*
  • Cytokines / immunology
  • Mice
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / immunology*


  • Cytokines
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha