Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Human interleukin-10-related T cell-derived inducible factor: molecular cloning and functional characterization as an hepatocyte-stimulating factor.

PMID 10954742


IL-10-related T cell-derived inducible factor (IL-TIF or IL-21) is a new cytokine structurally related to IL-10 and originally identified in the mouse as a gene induced by IL-9 in T cells and mast cells. Here, we report the cloning of the human IL-TIF cDNA, which shares 79% amino acid identity with mouse IL-TIF and 25% identity with human IL-10. Recombinant human IL-TIF was found to activate signal transducer and activator of transcription factors-1 and -3 in several hepatoma cell lines. IL-TIF stimulation of HepG2 human hepatoma cells up-regulated the production of acute phase reactants such as serum amyloid A, alpha1-antichymotrypsin, and haptoglobin. Although IL-10 and IL-TIF have distinct activities, antibodies directed against the beta chain of the IL-10 receptor blocked the induction of acute phase reactants by IL-TIF, indicating that this chain is a common component of the IL-10 and IL-TIF receptors. Similar acute phase reactant induction was observed in mouse liver upon IL-TIF injection, and IL-TIF expression was found to be rapidly increased after lipopolysaccharide (LPS) injection, suggesting that this cytokine contributes to the inflammatory response in vivo.