Interleukin 18 (IL-18)

Author: V. Dimov, M.D., Fellow, Creighton University Division of Allergy & Immunology
Reviewer: S. Randhawa, M.D., Fellow, LSU (Shreveport) Department of Allergy & Immunology

IL-18 is a proinflammatory cytokine. IL-18 works together with IL-12 to induce cell-mediated immunity following infection with microbial products like lipopolysaccharide (LPS)

IL-18 belongs to the interleukin-1 superfamily.

Interleukin-1 superfamily

Interleukin-1 superfamily includes:

- IL-1α
- IL-1β and IL-1RA
- IL1F5, IL1F6, IL1F7, IL1F8, IL1F9, and IL1F10
- IL-33
- IL-18

IL-1α, IL-1β, and IL-1RA have been renamed IL-1F1, IL-1F2, and IL-1F3. IL-33 is also called IL-1F11.

IL-18 and IL-12 inhibit IL-4 dependent IgE and IgG1 production, and enhance IgG2a production in B cells.

IL-18 binding protein (IL18BP) binds and blocks IL-18.

Whereas IL-1 and IL-18 promote proinflammatory and TH1-associated responses, IL-33 induces the production of TH2-associated cytokines.


The cytokine interleukin-33 mediates anaphylactic shock. Pushparaj PN, Tay HK, H'ng SC, Pitman N, Xu D, McKenzie A, Liew FY, Melendez AJ. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Jun 16;106(24):9773-8. Epub 2009 Jun 8.
Interleukin 33 (IL-33)
Interleukin-1 (IL-1)

Published: 08/25/2009
Updated: 08/27/2009

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