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Sci. Signal., 15 January 2013
Vol. 6, Issue 258, p. pe3
[DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2003898]


Inflammatory Cytokines at the Summits of Pathological Signal Cascades in Brain Diseases

Lawrence Steinman*

Departments of Pediatrics and Neurology and Neurological Sciences, Stanford University, Beckman Center for Molecular Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305–5316, USA.

Abstract: When considering the hierarchical organization of pathological signaling cascades in immunological disorders of the brain, certain cytokines might be considered pinnacles of pathophysiological importance, with their presence determining the appearance or the course of a particular disease. Interleukin-1 (IL-1), IL-6, IL-17, and tumor necrosis factor are critical for the pathogenesis of inflammation in specific brain disorders. Targeting these cytokines or their receptors can alter the course of several neurological diseases, but the effects may be beneficial or harmful.

* Corresponding author. E-mail: steinman{at}

Citation: L. Steinman, Inflammatory Cytokines at the Summits of Pathological Signal Cascades in Brain Diseases. Sci. Signal. 6, pe3 (2013).

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