IL-20 belongs to the IL-10 family and plays a role in skin inflammation and the development of hematopoietic cells. Little is known about its other biological functions and clinical implications, however. Updated information about IL-20, such as its identification, expression, receptors, signaling, biological activities, and potential clinical implications, is illustrated in this review based on our research and on data available in the literature. Our studies of IL-20 show that it is a pleiotropic cytokine with potent inflammatory, angiogenic, and chemoattractive characteristics. Inflammation and angiogenesis are essential for the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis and atherosclerosis. Based on in vitro data and clinical samples, we demonstrated that IL-20 is involved in the diseases of rheumatoid arthritis and atherosclerosis. In addition, we found in our studies that IL-20 signaled through different molecules in several cells. The present review presents the clinical implications of IL-20 in rheumatoid arthritis and atherosclerosis. It may provide new therapeutic options in the future.
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