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Any of various proteins, such as the interleukins and lymphokines, that are released by cells of the immune system and act in intercellular communication, especially in regulating inflammation and the immune response.

[cyto- + Greek kīnein, to move; see kinin.]


(Biochemistry) any of various proteins, secreted by cells, that carry signals to neighbouring cells. Cytokines include interferon
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.cytokine - any of various protein molecules secreted by cells of the immune system that serve to regulate the immune system
protein - any of a large group of nitrogenous organic compounds that are essential constituents of living cells; consist of polymers of amino acids; essential in the diet of animals for growth and for repair of tissues; can be obtained from meat and eggs and milk and legumes; "a diet high in protein"
TNF, tumor necrosis factor, tumour necrosis factor - a proinflammatory cytokine that is produced by white blood cells (monocytes and macrophages); has an antineoplastic effect but causes inflammation (as in rheumatoid arthritis)
lymphokine - a cytokine secreted by helper T cells in response to stimulation by antigens and that acts on other cells of the immune system (as by activating macrophages)
References in periodicals archive ?
1-3] The mechanism of action is hypothesized to be vasoconstriction around injection site, direct suppression of nerve impulse propogation, local release of enkephalin likes substances decreases in localized inflammatory mediators, and increase in anti-inflammatory cytokins.
pylori and change Th1/Th2 systemic balance and cytokins in areas with specific conditions of active tissue and vascular formation, such as pregnancy [22], bringing about a deficient placental vascularization and in consequence, lesser intrauterine nutrition.
Its chemical composition includes amino acids, alkaloids, lectins, polypeptides, momorcharins, aromatic oils, cytokins, fatty acids, vicine, sterol glycosides, triterpene glycosides and fixed oils.