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Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 106202, 10 pages
Review Article

Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor: A Multifunctional Cytokine in Rheumatic Diseases

1Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, Showa University, Tokyo 142-8666, Japan
2Department of Immunology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Tokyo 162-8640, Japan

Received 18 July 2010; Revised 4 December 2010; Accepted 21 December 2010

Academic Editor: Marco Matucci-Cerinic

Copyright © 2010 Tsuyoshi Kasama et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) was originally identified in the culture medium of activated T lymphocytes as a soluble factor that inhibited the random migration of macrophages. MIF is now recognized to be a multipotent cytokine involved in the regulation of immune and inflammatory responses. Moreover, the pivotal nature of its involvement highlights the importance of MIF to the pathogenesis of various inflammatory disorders and suggests that blocking MIF may be a useful therapeutic strategy for treating these diseases. This paper discusses the function and expressional regulation of MIF in several rheumatic diseases and related conditions.