Collection of Free Papers presented at the 12th International Congress of
Immunology and 4th annual Conference of FOCIS
Montreal, Canada July 18-23, 2004
Volume: Autoimmunity, Genetic and Degenerative Disorders,
Malignancies, and Transplantation; pp:369-374.
Diversification of Cytokines Across Vertebrate Immune
System Evolution, Reproductive Efficacy and Tumor Escape
Ivan Bubanovic1 and Stevo Najman2
1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Medica Centre Nis, Serbia and Montenegro
2Institute for Biology, University Medical School Nis, Serbia and Montenegro.
Cytokines have been identified and studied extensively in mammals, but little is known about their presence
in other vertebrate groups. Although the divergence of cytokine subfamilies began before the fish-tetrapod
split, much of the divergence within the subfamilies took place separately in different vertebrate groups.
Many cytokines and their receptors, like most molecules of the immune system, tend to evolve rapidly, so
that it has not been a simple task to isolate their ancestor genes. Cytokine homologs are found within
jawless vertebrates, although no cytokine or cytokine receptor genes have been sequenced in cartilaginous
fish except newly discovered IL-1-like gene. Several cytokines, including IFNs, IL-1, IL-2, IL-6, IL-8 and
TGF-, have been identified in birds, reptiles, amphibians, and bonefish. During vertebrate evolution, this
number grew dramatically, as well as the parallel growth number of regulatory cells and their function in
the controlling of immune reaction. In lower vertebrates, cytokine network of the immune reaction consists
mainly of the cytokines which are in mammals called the pro-inflammatory cytokines. Clearly defined,
specialized and strong immunosuppressive cytokines have been only found in mammals, although the role
of anti-inflammatory cytokines in