Int J Biol Sci 2016; 12(7):884-897. doi:10.7150/ijbs.15194 This issue


Interactions between Autophagy and Inhibitory Cytokines

Tian-tian Wu1, Wei-Min Li1, Yong-Ming Yao2, 3✉

1. Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, the 309th Hospital of Chinese PLA, Beijing 100091, People's Republic of China
2. Trauma Research Center, First Hospital Affiliated to the Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing 100048, People's Republic of China
3. State Key Laboratory of Kidney Disease, the Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing 100853, People's Republic of China

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) License. See for full terms and conditions.
Wu Tt, Li WM, Yao YM. Interactions between Autophagy and Inhibitory Cytokines. Int J Biol Sci 2016; 12(7):884-897. doi:10.7150/ijbs.15194. Available from

File import instruction


Graphic abstract

Autophagy is a degradative pathway that plays an essential role in maintaining cellular homeostasis. Most early studies of autophagy focused on its involvement in age-associated degeneration and nutrient deprivation. However, the immunological functions of autophagy have become more widely studied in recent years. Autophagy has been shown to be an intrinsic cellular defense mechanism in the innate and adaptive immune responses. Cytokines belong to a broad and loose category of proteins and are crucial for innate and adaptive immunity. Inhibitory cytokines have evolved to permit tolerance to self while also contributing to the eradication of invading pathogens. Interactions between inhibitory cytokines and autophagy have recently been reported, revealing a novel mechanism by which autophagy controls the immune response. In this review, we discuss interactions between autophagy and the regulatory cytokines IL-10, transforming growth factor-β, and IL-27. We also mention possible interactions between two newly discovered cytokines, IL-35 and IL-37, and autophagy.

Keywords: autophagy, inhibitory cytokines, adaptive immune response, innate immune response