Chapter

Cytokines

Iain B. McInnes

in Oxford Textbook of Medicine

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780199204854
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199570973 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199204854.003.0403

Series: Oxford Textbooks

Cytokines

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Cytokines are small glycoprotein mediators that are involved in every facet of immune effector function and regulation. More than 200 cytokines have been identified, which may usefully be classified in structurally related superfamilies. They can (1) function through binding to specific receptors that in turn signal via complex transduction pathways to regulate gene expression, thereby mediating positive and negative regulatory activities; (2) operate as soluble mediators in the extracellular domain or within cells, where they may also traffic to the nucleus and exhibit dual function as transcriptional regulators; (3) be expressed initially on the cell membrane, where they may exert effector function directly in cell–cell interactions, or from which they can be subsequently cleaved to yield bioactive soluble molecules, thereby mediating autocrine and paracrine activities around their cellular source....

Chapter.  6621 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Medicine

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