Types of cytokines

Types of cytokines review

Cytokines are a broad and loose category of small proteins (~5–20 kDa) that are important in cell signaling. They are released by cells and affect the behavior of other cells, and sometimes the releasing cell itself. There are many types of Cytokines, including chemokines, interferons, interleukins, lymphokines, tumour necrosis factor but generally not hormones or growth factors (despite some terminologic overlap). All those types of cytokines are produced by a broad range of cells, including immune cells like macrophages, B lymphocytes, T lymphocytes and mast cells, as well as endothelial cells, fibroblasts, and various stromal cells; a given cytokine may be produced by more than one type of cell.

Table Characteristics of selected cytokines

Cytokines Source
IL-1(IL-1α and -β) Macrophages, dendritic cells, endothelial cells, other cells
IL-2 TH1 cells
IL-3 TH, Tc and NK cells
IL-4 TH2 cells, mast cells, NK cells
IL-5 TH2 cells, mast cells
IL-6 Macrophages, TH2 cells
IL-8 Bone marrow, thymus
IL-9 TH2 cells
IL-10 TH2 cells
IL-11 Bone marrow
IL-12 Macrophages, Bcells
IL-13 TH cells
IL-16 Tc cells
IL-18 Hematopoietic and nonhematopoietic lineage cells
IFN-α Leukocytes
IFN-β Fibroblasts
TNF-α Macrophages
TNF-β T cells
Cytokines Target
IL-1(IL-1α and -β) TH and B cells and various other tissues
IL-2 TH, Tc and NK cells
IL-3 Hematopoietic and mast cells
IL-4 B cells, T cells, mast cells, macrophages
IL-5 Eosinophils
IL-6 Plasma cells, B cells and others
IL-8 Neutrophils
IL-9 TH cells, mast cells, eosinophils
IL-10 Macrophages, APC
IL-11 B-cell progenitors and others
IL-12 Tc, NK and LAK cells
IL-13 Macrophages, B cells
IL-16 TH cells
IL-18 T cells, NK cells
IFN-γ Various cells incluing macrophages
TNF-α Tumor cells, polymorphonuclear leukocytes, macrophages
TNF-β Tumor cells, neutrophils, macrophages
Cytokines Biological Role
IL-1(IL-1α and -β) Activation
IL-2 T cell and NK proliferation and induciton of activity
IL-3 Progenitor cell proliferation and differentiation
IL-4 Proliferration, isotype switching, induction of MHC class II expression
IL-5 Proliferation and differentiation
IL-6 Diffenentiation and antibody secretion
IL-8 Chemoattractant
IL-9 Induces inflammatory responses
IL-10 Anti-inflammatory cytokin inhibits cytokin production
IL-11 Differentiation
IL-12 Proliferation and differentiation in synergy with IL-2
IL-13 Inhibition of inflammatory cytokines, regulation of inflammation. Parasitic infections
IL-16 Chemotaxis
IL-18 Proinflammatory cytokine; IFN-γ inducing factor
IFN-α Inhibitor of viral replication
IFN-β Inhibitor of viral replication
IFN-γ Inhibitoe of viral replication. Inhibitor of cell proliferation. Inhibitor of IL-4 induced isotype switching
TNF-α Cytotoxicity, induction of cytokin secretion
TNF-β Cytotoxicity, phagocytosis

More information about Types of cytokines

Cytokine molecules related

IFN Receptor

IL10 Family Receptor

TGF beta Family Receptor


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