from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of several regulatory proteins, such as the interleukins and lymphokines, that are released by cells of the immune system and act as intercellular mediators in the generation of an immune response.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of various small regulatory proteins that regulate the cells of the immune system.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. any of various protein molecules secreted by cells of the immune system that serve to regulate the immune system


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

cyto- + Greek kīnein, to move; see kinin.


  • Swine and avian flus kill healthy people by invoking an overly aggressive immune response called a cytokine storm.

    duh pookie

  • Certain viral infections cause the body's immune system to lose control and attack itself, a phenomenon known as a cytokine storm.

    To Keep Hearing Young, Play an Instrument

  • Do patients have an unusually robust immune response to the virus -- the so-called cytokine storm?

    Richard P. Wenzel: The Return of Swine Flu -- A Death in the U.S. and Uncertainty

  • Young people, because they produce so many antibodies, be a terrible thing called a cytokine storm, where they start to pour a lot of fluid into their lungs.

    CNN Transcript Apr 27, 2009

  • In what is known as a cytokine storm, the body quite literally destroys itself.

    The Coming Pandemic?

  • However, it is the body's abnormal immune response to the trigger that leads to severe inflammation and the unregulated, massive production of cytokines, often called "cytokine storm," that then causes multi-organ failure and often death.

  • The goal of CytoSorb™ is to modulate the immune system by removing excessive cytokines, often called "cytokine storm," in critically-ill patients that can lead to deadly inflammation, multiple organ failure, immune dysfunction, and often death.

  • Initially known as cytokine synthesis inhibitor factor or CSIF, interleukin-10 (IL-10) is a potent immunomodulator of hematopoietic cells, particularly immune cells. Notable Patent Applications - 07/22/2010

  • A cytokine is a small protein released by cells that affects the interactions and communications between cells and the behavior of cells. Featured News and Stories

  • Scientists fused a toxic substance known as a cytokine with a compound called peptide that guides it to cancer cells to avoid damaging healthy ones.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "proteins produced by immune cells that can influence cell behavior and affect interactions between cells"

    August 26, 2010

  • "The actual process of inflammation involves the release by certain white blood cells of proteins called 'cytokines.' There are many kinds of white cells; several kinds attack invading organisms, while other 'helper' cells manage attacks, and still others produce antibodies. There are even more kinds of cytokines. Some cytokines attack invaders directly, such as interferon, which attacks viruses. Some act as messengers carrying orders. Macrophages, for example, release 'GM CSF,' which stands for 'granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor'; GM CSF stimulates the production in the bone marrow of more macrophages as well as granulocytes, another kind of white blood cell. Some cytokines also carry messages to parts of the body not normally considered belonging to the immune system; several cytokines can affect the hypothalamus, which acts like the body's thermostat...."

    —John M. Barry, The Great Influenza (NY: Penguin Books, 2004), 248

    February 16, 2009