Lymphotoxin in physiology of lymphoid tissues – Implication for antiviral defense

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Lymphotoxin (LT) is a member of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) superfamily of cytokines which serves multiple functions, including the control of lymphoid organ development and maintenance, as well as regulation of inflammation and autoimmunity. Although the role of LT in organogenesis and maintenance of lymphoid organs is well established, the contribution of LT pathway to homeostasis of lymphoid organs during the immune response to pathogens is less understood. In this review, we highlight recent advances on the role of LT pathway in antiviral immune responses. We discuss the role of LT signaling in lymphoid organ integrity, type I IFN production and regulation of protection and immunopathology during viral infections. We further discuss the potential of therapeutic targeting LT pathway for controlling immunopathology and antiviral protection.

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