Definition of cytokine in English:



  • Any of a number of substances, such as interferon, interleukin, and growth factors, which are secreted by certain cells of the immune system and have an effect on other cells.

    ‘Phagocytes themselves also secrete cytokines, which influence the behaviour of other cells.’
    • ‘Attracted by cytokines and growth factors, fibroblasts migrate into wound sites within several days of injury.’
    • ‘Administration of cytokines or cytokine antagonists alters only one aspect of a complex immune response.’
    • ‘Status of various immune cells and intracellular secretion of cytokines were assessed by flow cytometry.’
    • ‘Numerous cytokines and growth factors have been implicated as mediators in the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis.’
    • ‘TNF is a cytokine, or cell protein, that acts as an inflammatory agent in rheumatoid arthritis.’



/ˈsīdəˌkīn/ /ˈsaɪdəˌkaɪn/


1970s from cyto- + Greek kinein ‘move’.