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Open AccessReview

Role of Cytokine Signaling during Nervous System Development

1,† and 2,*,†
Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Health Sciences Centre, Kuwait University, Safat 13060, Kuwait
Department of Molecular Medicine, Princess Al-Jawhara Center for Genetics and Inherited Diseases, College of Medicine and Medical Sciences, Arabian Gulf University, P.O. Box 26671 Manama, Bahrain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(7), 13931-13957;
Received: 6 February 2013 / Revised: 19 June 2013 / Accepted: 25 June 2013 / Published: 4 July 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Signalling Molecules and Signal Transduction in Cells)
PDF [494 KB, uploaded 19 June 2014]


Cytokines are signaling proteins that were first characterized as components of the immune response, but have been found to have pleiotropic effects in diverse aspects of body function in health and disease. They are secreted by numerous cells and are used extensively in intercellular communications to produce different activities, including intricate processes engaged in the ontogenetic development of the brain. This review discusses factors involved in brain growth regulation and recent findings exploring cytokine signaling pathways during development of the central nervous system. In view of existing data suggesting roles for neurotropic cytokines in promoting brain growth and repair, these molecules and their signaling pathways might become targets for therapeutic intervention in neurodegenerative processes due to diseases, toxicity, or trauma. View Full-Text
Keywords: brain; immunity; interleukins; growth regulation brain; immunity; interleukins; growth regulation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Mousa, A.; Bakhiet, M. Role of Cytokine Signaling during Nervous System Development. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 13931-13957.

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