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What are Cytokines and what is their function?


General information about cytokines

Cytokines constitute of a wide group of proteins, glycoproteins and peptides in the human body. These groups are secreted by particular cells of the immune system. These are signaling molecules that perform the roles of mediating and regulating inflammation, immunity and hematopoiesis. These are formed in the entire body through cells of varying embryological origin. Cytokines and their respective receptors possess high affinity towards each other. Cytokines at picomolar concentrations can help in mediating a biological effect owing to this high affinity between them and their receptors. These groups being a part of the immune system, have influence on many white blood cells, also called leukocytes, which include monocytes, lymphocytes, macrophages and granulocytes.

Market for cytokines

The global market for cytokines is expected to grow at a significant compound annual growth rate (CAGR) during the forecast period of 2017-2022. The significant increase in the research and development fields for medical has proved to be the market driving factor for this. The need to meet the growing demand has added to the increasing development of the medical arena, thus leading to the expansion of the market industry for cytokines at the global level.

Further information about cytokines

Cytokines are short lived proteins. These are released from cells and are capable of regulating functions of other cells, hence acting as intercellular chemical messengers. These groups bring about changes in the cellular behavior which are crucial for various physiological processes which include growth, reproduction, development and repair of injuries but the best role these groups are involved in is their presence in the immune system action which protects the body from the organisms which cause diseases. Leukocytes produce cytokines which are often called interleukins whereas those produced by the lymphocytes are called lymphokines. These groups are not stored within the body but are formed when the demand arises which is often due to the need for a response to any other cytokine. When a cytokine is produced, it binds to particular receptor which is a specific molecule of protein and is present on the target cell’s surface. This binding of cytokine provides a trigger to the cascade which is responsible for producing signals inside a cell. This signal finally goes up to the nucleus wherein the cytokine effects are changed to transcription in genes and expression of proteins in genes.  There exist a range of different kinds of cytokines having different activities and roles associated with each of them.


Cytokines are inbuilt fighters of the human body which carry out a wide spectrum of important activities. These groups are helpful in treating a number of diseases and are thus of immense demand in the medical arena.