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Critical Reviews™ in Immunology
IF: 1.352 5-Year IF: 3.347 SJR: 1.022 SNIP: 0.55 CiteScore™: 2.19

ISSN Print: 1040-8401
ISSN Online: 2162-6472

Critical Reviews™ in Immunology

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevImmunol.v32.i2.50
pages 173-195

Role of IL-21 and IL-21 Receptor on B Cells in HIV Infection

Suresh Pallikkuth
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida
Anita Parmigiani
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida
Savita Pahwa
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

ABSTRACT

Interleukin (IL)-21 is a member of a family of cytokines that includes IL-2, IL-4, IL-7, IL-9, and IL-15, all of which utilize a common γ chain in their individual receptor complexes for delivering intracellular signals in their target cells. IL-21 is produced by CD4+ T-cells, in particular follicular T-helper cells, and is critically important in the regulation and maintenance of T cells and B cells in innate and adaptive immunity. The effects of IL-21 are pleiotropic because of the broad cellular distribution of the IL-21 receptor, and it plays a critical role in T cell-dependent and -independent human B cell differentiation for generating humoral immune responses. This article reviews the current knowledge about the importance of IL-21 and IL-21 receptor interaction in human B cell responses, immune defects of B cells and IL-21 in HIV infection, and the potential applicability of IL-21 in vaccines/immunotherapeutic approaches to augment relevant immune responses.


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