Cytokine redundancy

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Cytokine redundancy is a term in immunology referring to the phenomenon in which, and the ability of, multiple cytokines to exert similar actions. This phenomenon is largely due to multiple cytokines utilizing common receptor subunits and common intracellular cell signalling molecules/pathways.[1][2] For instance, a pair of redundant cytokines are interleukin 4 and interleukin 13.[3]

Cytokine redundancy is associated with the term cytokine pleiotropy, which refers to the ability of cytokines to exert multiple actions.[2][4][5]


  1. ^ Casssatella, M. A. (2003.) The Neutrophil: An Emerging Regulator of Inflammatory and Immune Response, Karger Publishers, p. 66.
  2. ^ a b Kelso, A. (1993.) "The enigma of cytokine redundancy", Immunology and Cell Biology, 72:97-101.
  3. ^ LaPorte, S. L.; Juo, Z. S.; Vaclavikova, J.; Colf, L. A.; Qi, X.; Heller, N. M.; Keegan, A. D.; Garcia, K. C. (2008.) "Molecular and structural basis of cytokine receptor pleiotropy in theh interleukin-4/13 system", Cell, 132(2):259-72.
  4. ^ Ozaki, K. and Leonard, W. J. (2002.) "Cytokine and Cytokine Receptor Pleiotropy and Redundancy", JBC, 277:29355-8.
  5. ^ Nicola, N. A. (1994.) "Cytokine pleiotropy and redundancy: a view from the receptor", Stem Cells, 12 Suppl 1:3-12.