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In this review, we discuss recent progress from studies on the biology of IL-21 and the role of this cytokine in the pathogenesis of autoimmunity. Recent studies have demonstrated that IL-21 plays an important and nonredundant role in a number of autoimmune animal models indicating that IL-21 could be a common modulator of the adaptive immune response towards self-tissue constituents in diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus, models of rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and type-1doi:10.2741/3082 pmid:18508588 fatcat:ny76im76sbhhnowvn6nl5n4mee