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What role do cytokines play in autoimmune diseases?

Cytokines, a varied group of signaling chemicals in the body, have been described as the software that runs the immune system, but when that software malfunctions, dysregulation of the immune system can result in debilitating autoimmune diseases such as lupus, arthritis, and diabetes.

Leading experts in the field of cytokine research present their most up-to-date findings and unique perspectives on the role of cytokines in autoimmune diseases in a special issue of Journal of Interferon & Cytokine Research, a peer-reviewed publication of Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. ( The issue is available free online for a limited time at

Dhan Kalvakolanu, PhD, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Journal Co-Editors-in-Chief Ganes C. Sen, PhD, and Thomas A. Hamilton, PhD, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, together with Guest Editors Kamal Moudgil, MD, PhD, University of Maryland School of Medicine, and Divaker Choubey, PhD, University of Cincinnati have compiled a wealth of in-depth review articles, original research, and insightful perspectives from expert researchers on the evolving understanding of how cytokines can both contribute to the initiation of autoimmune diseases and control the inflammation associated with the acute phase of these diseases. This special issue of the Journal is the first in a two-volume collection of articles.

In his introductory Editorial, Dr. Kalvakolanu identifies cytokines as the first step in the onset of immune responses in which the body attacks its own cells and tissues, leading to the development of autoimmune diseases. Drs. Moudgil and Choubey present an overview of the role cytokines play in the induction, regulation, and treatment of autoimmunity. An original research article, "Critical Cytokine Pathways to Cardiac Inflammation," by Noel Rose, PhD, The Johns Hopkins Schools of Medicine and Public Health (Baltimore, MD), describes a mouse model of autoimmune myocarditis—inflammation of the heart muscles—that is triggered by infection with Coxsackievirus B3. The model allows researchers to study the cytokine pathways involved in this disease, with the goal of identifying chemical markers that could be used to predict patients more likely to experience an autoimmune reaction after infection.

Journal of Interferon & Cytokine Research is an authoritative peer-reviewed journal published monthly in print and online that covers all aspects of interferons and cytokines from basic science to clinical applications. Journal of Interferon & Cytokine Research is the Official Journal of the International Society for Interferon and Cytokine Research. Tables of content and a free sample issue may be viewed online at

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Viral Immunology, AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses, and DNA and Cell Biology. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 70 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available at

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 140 Huguenot St., New Rochelle, NY 10801-5215

Phone: (914) 740-2100 (800) M-LIEBERT Fax: (914) 740-2101

Tracy Kasten | EurekAlert!
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