Int J Biol Sci 2011; 7(9):1239-1256. doi:10.7150/ijbs.7.1239


Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor (MIF): A Key Player in Protozoan Infections

Juan de Dios Rosado, Miriam Rodriguez-Sosa

Unidad de Biomedicina, Facultad de Estudios Superiores Iztacala, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), 54090 Tlalnepantla, Estado de México, México.


Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is a pleiotropic cytokine produced by the pituitary gland and multiple cell types, including macrophages (Mø), dendritic cells (DC) and T-cells. Upon releases MIF modulates the expression of several inflammatory molecules, such as TNF-α, nitric oxide and cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2). These important MIF characteristics have prompted investigators to study its role in parasite infections. Several reports have demonstrated that MIF plays either a protective or deleterious role in the immune response to different pathogens. Here, we review the role of MIF in the host defense response to some important protozoan infections.

Keywords: Macrophage migration inhibitory factor, Protozoan infections, Inflammatory response, Control of parasite infections, innate immune response.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) License. See for full terms and conditions.
How to cite this article:
de Dios Rosado J, Rodriguez-Sosa M. Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor (MIF): A Key Player in Protozoan Infections. Int J Biol Sci 2011; 7(9):1239-1256. doi:10.7150/ijbs.7.1239. Available from