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Cytokine therapy for combating animal and human diseases – A review

Kuldeep Dhama, Sandip Chakraborty, Mohd Yaqoob Wani, Ruchi Tiwari and Rajamani Barathidasan

1,5Avian Diseases Section, Division of Pathology, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, Bareilly (UP) – 243122; 2Animal Resources Development Department, Pt. Nehru Complex, Agartala, Tripura – 799006
3Immunology Section, Division of Veterinary Biotechnology, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, Bareilly (U.P.) – 243122; 4Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Immunology, Uttar Pradesh Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhayay Pashu Chikitsa Vigyan Vishwa Vidhyalaya EVam Go-Anusandhan Sansthan (DUVASU), Mathura (UP) – 281001


                 Disease control in food production animals is normally achieved through the use of antimicrobials, drugs and vaccines. However, the injudicious and wide use of antibiotics and other drugs/chemicals in animal husbandry practices and livestock raising systems have resulted in environmental, food safety and human health concerns, principally due to the emergence of drug-resistant microbes and residual toxicity in foods of animal origin. During recent years, therapeutic interventions with biologics and newer treatment modalities like phages, apoptins, cytokines, avian egg yolk antibodies, stem cell therapy, herbal remedies and others are gaining more and more focus into medical and veterinary sciences. Of these, cytokines therapy is of immense importance and possesses great potential and values for treating human as well as animal diseases. Cytokines, the natural mediators of immunity, include interleukins (IL), interferons (IFN), tumor necrosis factor (TNF), chemokines, adipokines and mesenchymal growth factors. Cytokines have characteristic multiple biological properties (pleiotropism), and affect various stages of embryonic development, disease pathogenesis, and immune responses including of both non-specific and specific ones. Their mode of action on the cells may be autocrine, paracrine or in endocrine manner; mediated by means of various cytokine receptors. Cytokines, their receptors and signal transduction pathways, are promising candidates for treatment purposes and therapeutic interferences due to their multiple functions, regulatory and effector cellular functions, in many diseases. In this regard TNF-TNF receptor interaction and neutralization of any such interaction requires special mention. Cytokines, being good immunomodulators, play crucial role in a vast array of infectious diseases, wherein the use of recombinant cytokines is worth mentioning.  The therapeutic applicability of cytokines and modulation of their actions is being explored for a many infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases, immunocompromised patients (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, AIDS), and in neoplasia. Cytokines possess potential capability in controlling various diseases of animals too and present possible alternatives to traditional / conventional therapeutics. Limitations of cytokine therapy like short half life and adverse affects are also being tackled with innovative novel strategies so as to widen the potent application of these wonderful molecules. The present review discusses the role of cytokines in various therapeutic interventions, anti-tumor effects, and their applications as adjuvants for new generation vaccines both in the field of human as well as animal science / medicine.

Keywords: Cytokines; interleukins; tumor necrosis factor; disease; therapy; adjuvants; anti-tumor activity
To cite this article: Dhama K, S Chakraborty, MY Wani, R Tiwari and R Barathidasan, 2013. Cytokine therapy for combating animal and human diseases – A review. Res. Opin. Anim. Vet. Sci., 3(7), 195-208.

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