Synonyms: Citocinas; Citokinas; Citoquinas.
Cyrillic synonym: Цитокины.


Cytokines are a group of endogenous soluble peptides produced by many different cell types in response to noxious stimuli. In contrast to peptide hormones, they tend to act locally. Cytokines affect expression of genes influencing changes at the cellular level and have a regulatory function, acting as growth factors in cellular differentiation and/or proliferation. Cytokines are also involved in host responses to disease such as infection or inflammation. Some cytokines induce inflammation whereas others have an anti-inflammatory action through inhibition of proinflammatory cytokines. Cytokines are classified by their biological activity rather than structure and most are pleiotropic (i.e. they are multifunctional). A large number of cytokines alter endothelial function affecting permeability and may also cause cellular damage or death. Some cytokines are involved in the pathophysiology of diseases, particularly immune, inflammatory, and infectious diseases; they may also be involved in the development of cardiovascular disease. Cytokines that are used clinically include:
granulocyte colony-stimulating factors such as filgrastim
granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factors such as molgramostim
some interleukins
oprelvekin, a platelet growth factor
palifermin, a keratinocyte growth factor
trafermin, a fibroblast growth factor
tumour necrosis factor
urogastrone, an epidermal growth factor
Anticytokine-based therapy may involve suppressing the action of single or related cytokines by specific soluble cytokine receptors, antagonists to the cytokine receptor, or antibodies against the cytokine. Alternatively, the synthesis of several unrelated cytokines may be suppressed by a single therapeutic agent. Fusion toxins in which protein sequences from cytokines or natural growth factors are combined with a bacterial toxin have also been produced to target specific cytokines.
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Published May 08, 2019.