Tuesday, October 12, 2004


Cytokines are regulatory proteins that are released by cells of the immune system. They are the means by which cells communicate in the generation of an immune response. Well-known cytokines include prostaglandin, the interleukins, the interferons and the lymphokines.

Cytokines trigger responses by binding to cell-specific receptors located in the cell membrane. This allows a distinct signal cascade to start in the cell, eventually generating biochemical and phenotypical changes in the target cell.

Production of a specific cytokine can be detected using the aforementioned ELISPOT assays, which can also determine the percentage of cells that produce the cytokine in question.