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What are Cytokines?

The word cytokine is of greek origin with "Cyto" meaning Cell & "Kinos" meaning movement. Cytokines are a group of signalling proteins secreted by specific cells of the immune system and regulate a wide range of immunological and biological functions including acquired & innate immunity, inflammation, hematopoiesis and proliferation.

Cytokines can also be named based on their cell of function including Adipokines (Adipocytes), Lymphokines (Lymphocytes) or Monokines if secreted by Monocytes or Macrophages and finally chemokines when regulationg chemotactic activity.