Definition of cytokine
Words nearby cytokine
MORE ABOUT CYTOKINE
What is a cytokine?
A cytokine is a type of protein released by cells in the body to carry messages to other cells. These messages tell the cells to do something, like to start an immune response.
Cytokines play an important role in many different processes, including the regulation of inflammation and the immune response. Sometimes, though, too many cytokines get released. This is known as a cytokine storm, and it makes the body attack itself, resulting in potentially deadly damage to healthy tissue.
What is a cytokine storm?
A cytokine storm is an overreaction of the immune system to something that the body identifies as a threat. Normally, when your immune system detects an antigen in the body, immune cells rush to the area and attack the invader. But sometimes the body releases too many cytokines. This causes too many immune cells to show up and start attacking the body’s own healthy tissue, sometimes causing even more damage than the disease that triggered the response.
Cytokine storms are known to happen as a result of some infectious diseases, including influenza and pneumonia, as well as some noninfectious ones, like multiple sclerosis.
Public awareness of cytokine storms increased during the outbreak of the strain of influenza known as bird flu, as well as during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many fatal cases of both diseases are thought to be the result of cytokine storms triggered by the presence of the disease. In some severe cases of COVID-19, a cytokine storm may result in excessive inflammation in the lungs, among other complications that can be deadly.
Why are cytokines important?
Basically, cytokines are messengers that tell the cells in your body to behave a certain way. The word cytokine is formed from cyto–, meaning “cell,” and –kine, referring to movement. Cytokines stimulate cell movement.
But cytokines themselves are not antibodies. The presence of an antigen triggers the release of cytokines, which then tell other cells to start the antibody-producing immune response.
Cytokines act in many different parts of your body. They can act on the cell that secreted them or on a cell that’s close by, or they can travel a long way to act on cells elsewhere in the body. Cytokines have many tasks, and a very important one is telling immune cells to go to parts of the body where they’re needed.
For example, cytokines called lymphokines activate certain white blood cells called macrophages that basically eat foreign particles and infectious microorganisms. Lymphokines also trigger the production of lymphocytes, which then trigger the production of antibodies and other white blood cells that work to identify and bind to certain antigens. Some lymphokines are interferons. Interferons regulate the body’s immune response by blocking a virus from reproducing in newly infected cells or inducing resistance to the virus in other cells.
Cytokines are important to the body’s immune response. But when that response goes wrong, it can cause even bigger problems. Cytokine storms, like those caused by certain coronaviruses or inflammatory autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, are the subject of a lot of research to more fully understand why they happen and how they can be stopped.
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What are real-life examples of cytokine?
Cytokines known as interleukins have been used in the treatment of some cancers. Here is a model of what the structure of interleukin looks like.
As chemical messengers of the immune system, cytokines play a key role in treating inflammatory immune diseases. pic.twitter.com/XH9c6QgEwh
— AbbVie (@abbvie) October 31, 2017
An antibody treatment being developed to treat rheumatoid arthritis will go into testing in patients with coronavirus later this month, developers say. GlaxoSmithKline says the drug might help calm down an immune system overreaction called a cytokine storm https://t.co/pshXIQsYSJ
— CNN (@CNN) May 8, 2020
What other words are related to cytokine?
True or False?
Cytokines are types of antibodies.
How to use cytokine in a sentence
One leading theory of what happens when patients suffer through Covid-19 is that cells damaged by the disease release tons of cytokines, which then causes inflammation in the lungs that can make it hard to breathe and cause lasting tissue damage.
It turned out that one of the SSRIs that worked well, fluvoxamine, binds to a receptor in cells that regulates cellular stress response and the production of cytokines, proteins that tell the body something is wrong and cause inflammation.
Though this was something doctors had seen in other conditions, it quickly became apparent that the cytokine storms produced by covid-19 had unusual destructive power.Could covid lead to a lifetime of autoimmune disease?|Adam Piore|April 23, 2021|MIT Technology Review
Mice with other inflammatory conditions were also protected from dying when both cytokines were blocked, and to a lesser extent when only one was blocked.
Those findings suggest that both cytokines must be blocked to have an effect, Lamkanfi says.