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Inflammatory Cytokines Profile


Cytokines are classified according to their different roles in the inflammatory response: pro-inflammatory cytokines and anti-inflammatory cytokines.
Editor: Melissa George Last Updated: 29-Mar-2022

Cytokines are classified according to their different roles in the inflammatory response: pro-inflammatory cytokines and anti-inflammatory cytokines.


Pro-inflammatory Cytokines

Interleukin-1 (IL-1)

IL-1 is a proinflammatory cytokine that activates a variety of immune and inflammatory cells and is secreted mainly by monocytes/macrophages, neutrophils and endothelial cells. IL-1 consists of two genetically encoded peptide molecules, IL-1α and IL-1β, both with a molecular mass of about 17 ku, the former being secreted, while the latter is mostly cell bound.


IL-1β stimulates the production of other CK and inflammatory transmitters through autocrine or paracrine secretion, induces the expression of immune molecules on the surface of antigen-presenting cells, provides a secondary signal for T-lymphocyte activation, promotes the proliferation and differentiation of B cells, mediates the secretion of immunoglobulins, thereby activating complement and enhancing cellular and humoral immune-mediated tissue injury processes.


Interleukin-6 (IL-6)

IL-6 is mainly secreted by activated macrophages, lymphocytes and epithelial cells, and its biological effects are similar to those of IL-1β. IL-6 can induce polarized expression of intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM-1) by activating NK-κB through STAT-3 pathway.


Interleukin-8 (IL-8)

IL-8 is a potent neutrophil chemotactic and activating factor produced by monocytes, epithelial cells, epidermal cells, fibroblasts and T lymphocytes in response to stimulation by IL-1, TNF and the exogenous factor bacterial polysaccharide (LPS). The main biological effects are chemotaxis and activation of neutrophils, promotion of lysosomal enzyme activity and phagocytosis of neutrophils, and chemotaxis of basophils and T cells.


Interleukin-12 (IL-12)

IL-12 is the most potent NK cell activator that promotes the differentiation of CD4+ Th0 cells into Th1 cells and stimulates NK and T cells to produce various cytokines such as IFN-γ, IL-2, TNF-α, GM-CSF, IL-3, IL-8, etc., and then acts through these transmitters.


Interleukin-15 (IL-15)

IL-15 uses IL-2rβ and γ chain components as its signaling, which can bind to the corresponding receptors of T cells, B cells, NK cells and epithelial cells, promote the activation and proliferation of these cells, inhibit their apoptosis and promote the synthesis of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as promoting the secretion of TNF-α and IFN-γ by T cells.


Interleukin-16 (IL-16)

IL-16 is a chemokine that can be secreted by CD8+ T cells, eosinophils, mast cells, epithelial cells, and other cells upon stimulation, and acts mainly through the CD4 pathway, but does not depend on CD4 to act on target cells.


Interleukin-17 (IL-17)

IL-17 is an important soluble factor in the process of T-cell induction and promotion of inflammation. It promotes neutrophil development and maturation and stimulates the production of inflammatory transmitters such as IL-6, IL-8, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) by epithelial cells, endothelial cells, macrophages and fibroblasts, and increases the expression of ICAM-1 on the surface of fibroblasts.


Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α)

Depending on the cell source and molecular structure, it can be divided into alpha and beta types. Secretory TNF-α is a 17 ku non-glycoprotein, mainly produced by monocytes, macrophages and T cells.


Interferon-gamma (IFN-γ)

IFN is divided into type I and type II. Type I includes IFN-α and IFN-β, and type II is also known as IFN-γ. IFN-γ is a homodimeric glycoprotein produced by Th1 lymphocytes and NK cells. It has the strongest immunomodulatory activity and weak antiviral effect. It is a powerful phagocytic and neutrophil activator, causing various types of cells to express MHC-II class antigens, increasing ICAM-1 expression by epithelial cells and monocytes, promoting T and B cell differentiation, activating neutrophils, NK cells and vascular endothelial cells, and promoting inflammation. IFN-α is mainly produced by B lymphocytes and its immunomodulatory effects are weaker than those of IFN-γ.


Monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1)

MCP-1 is a chemotactic factor whose mechanism is to activate the expression of adhesion factors on monocytes, stimulate monocytes to secrete IL-1β and IL-6, and promote inflammation.


Anti-inflammatory Cytokines

Interleukin-4 (IL-4)

IL-4 is mainly synthesized by activated lymphocytes and can inhibit the production of other cytokines including IL-1, IL-6, IL-8 and TNF-α, and inhibit the production and movement of lymphocytes and macrophages, and inhibit superoxide anion formation. It also induces IL-1α production, increases IL-1rα/IL-1 ratio, inhibits PGE2, and has strong anti-inflammatory functions.


Interleukin-5 (IL-5)

IL-5 is mainly produced by Th2 cells and is one of the strongest eosinophil chemotactic factors, acting on B lymphocytes, T lymphocytes, eosinophils and other cells to induce proliferation and differentiation of B cells.


Interleukin-10 (IL-10)

IL-10, also known as cytokine synthesis inhibitory factor, is a typical anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive cytokine produced mainly by activated monocytes and macrophages. It exerts its effective function mainly by inhibiting activated monocytes, macrophages, granulocytes and T cells.


Interleukin-13 (IL-13)

IL-13 is mainly produced by Th2 cells. IL-13 inhibits the secretion of pro-inflammatory transmitters by monocytes and down-regulates cytotoxic monocyte function. In addition, IL-13 upregulates the ability of monocytes to present antigens.


ransforming Growth Factor (TGF)

Epidermal growth factor (EGF)

EGF acts by binding to the cell surface receptor epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). High affinity binding to the EGFR receptor stimulates the activity of the receptor's intrinsic tyrosine kinase, which initiates a signaling cascade leading to a variety of biochemical changes, increased intracellular calcium levels, increased glycolysis and protein synthesis, increased expression of certain genes (including the EGFR receptor), and ultimately DNA synthesis and cell proliferation.


Other Cytokines with Immunomodulatory Activity

  1. Interleukin-7 (IL-7)
  2. Interleukin-18 (IL-18)
  3. Interleukin-23 (IL-23)
  4. Chemokine


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