Specific cytokines & growth factors in… inflammation

Growth Factors & cytokines

Inflammation is part of the complex biological response of vascular tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants. Numerous cytokines are present within inflammatory sites.

Inflammation is indeed a precarious balance between pro-inflammatory cytokines and anti-inflammatory cytokines.

Pro-inflammatory cytokines

These are regulating factors of inflammation, fever, sleep, hematopoiesis or osseous destruction.


They play a pre-eminent role in the inflammatory response of the body when confronted with infection.

  • IL- alpha: a non-secreted pro-inflammatory cytokine produced in a variety of cells including monocytes, tissue macrophages, keratinocytes and other epithelial cells. (hum IL-1 alpha, mur IL-1 alpha, rat IL-1 alpha)
  • IL-6: a pleiotropic cytokine that plays an important role in host defense by regulating immune and inflammatory response (hum IL-6, mur IL-6, rat IL-6)
  • IL-8:  a pro-inflammatory CXC chemokine that can signal through the CXCR1 and CXCR2 receptors. It is secreted by monocytes and endothelial cells. (hum IL-8)


  • TNF-alpha: a pleiotropic pro-inflammatory cytokine secreted by various cells including adipocytes, activated monocytes, macrophages, B cells, T cells and fibroblasts. (hum TNF-alpha, mur TNF-alpha, rat TNF-alpha)
  • LIF: a pleiotrophic factor produced by multiple cell types including T cells, myelomoncytic lineages, fibroblasts, liver, heart and melanoma. (hum LIF, mur LIF)
  • IFN-gamma: an acid-labile interferon produced by CD4 and CD8 T lymphocytes as well as activated NK cells. (hum IFN-gamma, mur IFN-gamma, rat IFN-gamma)

 Anti-inflammatory cytokines

Anti-inflammatory cytokines are a series of immunoregulatory molecules that control the proinflammatory cytokine response.

  • IL-4:  a pleiotropic cytokine that regulates diverse T and B cell responses including cell proliferation, survival and gene expression. (hum IL-4, mur IL-4, rat IL-4)
  • IL-10: an immunosuppressive cytokine produced by a variety of mammalian cell types including macrophages, monocytes, T cells, B cells and keratinocytes. (hum IL-10, mur IL-10, rat IL-10)
  • IFN-alpha: an acid stable molecule that signals through IFNα/βR, which is also used by IFN-β. (hum IFN-alpha, mur IFN-alpha, rat IFN-Alpha)
  • human sTNF Receptor Type1 : a cytokine capable of inhibiting TNF-α and TNF-β activities by acting as a decoy receptor that serves as a sink for the TNF ligands.
  • hum sIL-6 Receptor: a key cytokine in the regulation of the acute and chronic inflammation and play messenger’s role between cells involved in this process.

The balance between these kinds of cytokines during the inflammation process is often called the “cytokine network”.

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Written by Elodie Monin
Elodie is the former Community Manager at tebu-bio.