Interleukins & Related Cytokines
Cytokines are a broad group of signaling proteins that are secreted by specific immune system cells and play roles in immunity, inflammation and hematopoiesis.
Interleukins are a type of cytokine that act as mediators between leukocytes. They are grouped into several families based on structure and function. Interleukins exert complex immunomodulatory functions that depend on the producing and responding cells types, as well as the phase of the immune response. Functions include proliferation, migration, adhesion, differentiation, activation and maturation. While interferons (IFNs) are included in the IL-6 family, they are generally considered to mediate cellular response to viral challenge.
Other non-interleukin signaling cytokines include monokines, produced by mononuclear phagocytic cells and lymphokines, produced by activated lymphocytes. Members of these groups regulate both innate and adaptive immune responses, along with other non-immune cell responses, via intercellular signaling networks.
This group includes proteins from the IL-1, IL-6, IL-10/Interferon, IL-12 and IL-17 families, and others.