Cytokines are a group of soluble, low molecular weight glycoproteins, which are involved in cell proliferation, immunity and inflammation. They regulate both the amplitude and duration of the systemic inflammatory response, and may be either pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory. They may act on cells in a para-crine and autocrine manner. The systemic inflammatory response syndrome appears to result from excessive, inappropriate and/or prolonged release of cytokines into the systemic circulation. They are synthesised de novo and released in response to tissue damage.

Classification of cytokines

Interleukins: IL-1 to IL-13;

Interferons: alpha-interferon, beta-interferon, gamma-interferon; Colony-stimulating factors: macrophage-colony stimulating factor (M-CSF), granulocyte-macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF), granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CTF).

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