IL-11 (Interleukin 11) is a pleiotropic cytokine in the IL-6 family, which also includes LIF, CNTF, Oncostatin M, Cardiotrophin-1, IL-27 and IL-31. In humans, IL-11 was also independently discovered as an adipogenesis inhibitory factor (AGIF). IL-11 is secreted by osteoblasts, synoviocytes, fibroblasts, chondrocytes, intestinal myofibroblasts, and trophoblasts, among other cell types. It is found in the plasma mainly during inflammation, such as that associated with viral infection, cancer, or inflammatory arthritis, and is considered to be primarily anti‑inflammatory. It stimulates hematopoiesis and thrombopoiesis, regulates macrophage differentiation, and confers mucosal protection in the intestine. It has also been found to enhance T cell polarization toward Th2, promote B cell IgG production, increase osteoclast bone absorption, protect endothelial cells from oxidative stress, and regulate epithelial proliferation and apoptosis.
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