IL-31 is a member of the gp130/IL-6 family of cytokines that is produced predominantly, but not exclusively, by activated TH2 cells. IL-31 binds to the heterodimeric receptor complex composed of IL-31RA (GPL) and oncostatin M receptor (OSMR). This receptor complex is expressed constitutively on keratinocytes and epithelial cells and can be upregulated on monocytes by IFNγ or LPS. IL-31 signaling activates the JAK/STAT, PI3 kinase/AKT, and MAP kinase pathways. Due to the ubiquitous expression of its receptor complex, IL-31 has numerous physiological roles including regulation of hematopoiesis and immune response. IL-31 is associated with the promotion of allergic and chronic inflammatory conditions such as dermatitis, pruritus, airway hyper-sensititvity and inflammatory bowel disease.
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