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Interleukins are a group of cytokines that were first seen to be expressed by leukocytes.
The majority of interleukins are synthesized by helper CD4+ T lymphocytes, as well as through monocytes, macrophages, and endothelial cells. They promote the development and differentiation of T, B, and hematopoietic cells.


In the table below the name of interleukins are linked to the appropriate cytokine order information and the name of target receptors are linked to the appropriate antibody order information.
Name Source Target receptors Target cells Function
IL-1a, IL-1b macrophages, B cells, monocytes, dendritic cells CD121a/IL1R1, CD121b/IL1R2 T helper cells co-stimulation
B cells maturation & proliferation
NK cells activation
macrophages, endothelium, other inflammation, small amounts induce acute phase reaction, large amounts induce fever
IL-2 Th1-cells CD25/IL2RA, CD122/IL2RB, CD132/IL2RG activated T cells and B cells, NK cells, macrophages, oligodendrocytes stimulates growth and differentiation of T cell response. Can be used in immunotherapy to treat cancer or suppressed for transplant patients. Has also been used in clinical trials (ESPIRIT. Stalwart) to raise CD4 counts in HIV positive patients.
IL-3 activated T helper cells, mast cells, NK cells, endothelium, eosinophils CD123/IL3RA, CD131/IL3RB hematopoietic stem cells differentiation and proliferation of myeloid progenitor cells to e.g. erythrocytes, granulocytes
mast cells growth and histamine release
IL-4 Th2 cells, just activated naive CD4+ cell, memory CD4+ cells, mast cells, macrophages CD124/IL4R, CD132/IL2RG activated B cells proliferation and differentiation, IgG1 and IgE synthesis. Important role in allergic response (IgE)
T cells proliferation
IL-5 Th2 cells, mast cells, eosinophils CD125/IL5RA, CD131/IL3RB eosinophils production
B cells differentiation, IgA production
IL-6 macrophages, Th2 cells, B cells, astrocytes, endothelium CD126/IL6RA, CD130/IR6RB activated B cells differentiation into plasma cells
plasma cells antibody secretion
hematopoietic stem cells differentiation
T cells, others induces acute phase reaction, hematopoiesis, differentiation, inflammation
IL-7 bone marrow stromal cells and thymus stromal cells CD127/IL7RA, CD132/IL2RG pre/pro-B cell, pre/pro-T cell, NK cells differentiation and proliferation of lymphoid progenitor cells, involved in B, T, and NK cell survival, development, and homeostasis, ↑proinflammatory cytokines
IL-8 macrophages, lymphocytes, epithelial cells, endothelial cells CXCR1/IL8RA, CXCR2/IL8RB/CD128 neutrophils, basophils, lymphocytes Neutrophil chemotaxis
IL-9 Th2 cells, specifically by CD4+ helper cells CD129/IL9R T cells, B cells Potentiates IgM, IgG, IgE, stimulates mast cells
IL-10 monocytes, Th2 cells, CD8+ T cells, mast cells, macrophages, B cell subset CD210/IL10RA, CDW210B/IL10RB macrophages cytokine production
B cells activation
mast cells  
Th1 cells inhibits Th1 cytokine production (IFN-γ, TNF-β, IL-2)
Th2 cells Stimulation
IL-11 bone marrow stroma IL11RA bone marrow stroma acute phase protein production, osteoclast formation
IL-12 dendritic cells, B cells, T cells, macrophages CD212/IL12RB1, IR12RB2 activated T cells, differentiation into Cytotoxic T cells with IL-2, ↑ IFN-γ, TNF-α, ↓ IL-10
NK cells IFN-γ, TNF-α
IL-13 activated Th2 cells, mast cells, NK cells IL13R TH2-cells, B cells, macrophages Stimulates growth and differentiation of B cells (IgE), inhibits TH1-cells and the production of macrophage inflammatory cytokines (e.g. IL-1, IL-6), ↓ IL-8, IL-10, IL-12
IL-14 T cells and certain malignant B cells   activated B cells controls the growth and proliferation of B cells, inhibits Ig secretion
IL-15 mononuclear phagocytes (and some other cells), especially macrophages following infection by virus(es) IL15RA T cells, activated B cells Induces production of Natural killer cells
IL-16 lymphocytes, epithelial cells, eosinophils, CD8+ T cells CD4 CD4+ T cells (Th-cells) CD4+ chemoattractant
IL-17 T helper 17 cells (Th17) CDw217/IL17RA, IL17RB epithelium, endothelium, other osteoclastogenesis, angiogenesis, ↑ inflammatory cytokines
IL-18 macrophages CDw218a/IL18R1 Th1 cells, NK cells Induces production of IFNγ, ↑ NK cell activity
IL-19 - IL20R   -
IL-20 - IL20R   regulates proliferation and differentiation of keratinocytes
IL-21 activated T helper cells, NKT cells IL21R All lymphocytes, dendritic cells costimulates activation and proliferation of CD8+ T cells, augment NK cytotoxicity, augments CD40-driven B cell proliferation, differentiation and isotype switching, promotes differentiation of Th17 cells
IL-22 - IL22R   Activates STAT1 and STAT3 and increases production of acute phase proteins such as serum amyloid A, Alpha 1-antichymotrypsin and haptoglobin in hepatoma cell lines
IL-23 - IL23R   Increases angiogenesis but reduces CD8 T-cell infiltration
IL-24 - IL20R   Plays important roles in tumor suppression, wound healing and psoriasis by influencing cell survival.
IL-25, IL-17E - LY6E   Induces the production IL-4, IL-5 and IL-13, which stimulate eosinophil expansion
IL-26 - IL20R1   Enhances secretion of IL-10 and IL-8 and cell surface expression of CD54 on epithelial cells
IL-27 - IL27RA   Regulates the activity of B lymphocyte and T lymphocytes
IL-28 - IL28R   Plays a role in immune defense against viruses
IL-29 -     Plays a role in host defenses against microbes
IL-30 -     Forms one chain of IL-27
IL-31 - IL31RA   May play a role in inflammation of the skin
IL-32 -     Induces monocytes and macrophages to secrete TNF-α, IL-8 and CXCL2
IL-33 -     Induces helper T cells to produce type 2 cytokine
IL-35 regulatory T cells     Suppression of T helper cell activation




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