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n. (context protein immunology English) Any of various small regulatory proteins that regulate the cells of the immune system.


n. any of various proteins secreted by cells of the immune system that serve to regulate the immune system


Cytokines (cyto, from Greek "κύτταρο" kyttaro "cell" + kines, from Greek "κίνηση" kinisi "movement") are a broad and loose category of small proteins (~5–20 kDa) that are important in cell signaling. Their release has an effect on the behaviour of cells around them. It can be said that cytokines are involved in autocrine signalling, paracrine signalling and endocrine signalling as immunomodulating agents. Their definite distinction from hormones is still part of ongoing research. Cytokines include chemokines, interferons, interleukins, lymphokines, and tumour necrosis factors but generally not hormones or growth factors (despite some overlap in the terminology). Cytokines are produced by a broad range of cells, including immune cells like macrophages, B lymphocytes, T lymphocytes and mast cells, as well as endothelial cells, fibroblasts, and various stromal cells; a given cytokine may be produced by more than one type of cell.

They act through receptors, and are especially important in the immune system; cytokines modulate the balance between humoral and cell-based immune responses, and they regulate the maturation, growth, and responsiveness of particular cell populations. Some cytokines enhance or inhibit the action of other cytokines in complex ways.

They are different from hormones, which are also important cell signaling molecules, in that hormones circulate in less variable concentrations and hormones tend to be made by specific kinds of cells.

They are important in health and disease, specifically in host responses to infection, immune responses, inflammation, trauma, sepsis, cancer, and reproduction.

Usage examples of "cytokine".

And the few people she saw, even Lian, each carried a cytokine aerosol at their waist, designed to stimulate an immune response against any known pathogen.

Keep everyone inside and cooperating until I can administer air packets and cytokine sprays.

No-Borders passed out the cytokine sprays, handing them to the UCE contingent, then began opening the boxes of cigarettes.

She grabbed a quick spray of cytokine before she lowered the scarf of the boy next to her and dosed him.

UCLA just made a cell line from your tissues and used it to manufacture a cytokine, the way it is manufactured naturally inside your body.

The lure of magnificent cures made possible by stem cells, cytokines, and proteonomics are drawing the brightest talent to the field.

Many cytokines, such as interleukins, had taken years to come to market.

As a matter of fact, your cells churn out cytokines more efficiently than any commercial process.

That was when he discovered just how risky venture capitalists considered cytokines to be.

Out there on the golf course, with the sun shining and a soft breeze blowing, he fed them his little speeches about the emerging wonders of biotech, and the power of the cytokines manufactured by the Burnet cell line BioGen had acquired.

Another important component of nonspecific immunity is a remarkable group of molecules called cytokines, through which cells communicate to one another and pass on vital marching orders.

It was the so-called Burnet cell line, developed from a man named Frank Burnet, whose body produced powerful cancer-fighting chemicals called cytokines.

No-Borders passed out the cytokine sprays, handing them to the UCE contingent, then began opening the boxes of cigarettes.