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 Introduction restructuring
"Part of the difficulty with distinguishing cytokines from hormones is that some of the immunomodulating effects of cytokines are systemic rather than local." - This is completely wrong, cytokines are local hormones and often act without passing through the entire circulatory system. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.127.116.11 (talk) 22:46, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
- Is it likely that the apparent conflict here is just a misunderstanding around emphasis? - that yes, "cytokines are local hormones and often act without passing through the .. system", but yes, "some" of the effects (? especially/specifically some of the immunomodulating effects) are "systemic rather than local"? I suspect the earlier contributor's point ("Part of the difficulty ..") is that it would be nice-and-easy to say that the way cytokines differ from hormones is that cytokines act locally/topically / without passing through the circulatory system (whereas hormones operate systemically) - but that's too simple/simpleminded, because in some ways some cytokines also act systemically. SquisherDa (talk) 16:22, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
Could an intro be added in plain language for the lay reader? I see the term "cytokine" frequently in health news but after reading this page I'm still totally mystified. Is it a drug? 18.104.22.168 14:31, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
- This is a very valid comment. That's probably one of the most unreadable intros I've seen in biological articles on wiki... Someone should reword it. Loss of jargon doesn't have to mean loss of content. The Meaning of Liff 20:59, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
- I've been looking around for a nice intro to cytokines as well and found some more info in other languages for the same entry in wikipedia. Maybe the following could be added to the intro:
Cytokines are less widely known signalling chemicals that like hormonones and neurotransmitters are used extensively for inter-cell communication. While hormones are secreted from specific organs to the blood, and neurotransmitters are related to neural acitivity, the cytokines is a more diverse class of compounds in terms of origin and purpose. Cytokines are critical to the functioning of both innate and adaptive immune responses. Apart from their role in the development and functioning of the immune system, and their aberrant modes of secretion in a variety of immunological, inflammatory and infectious diseases, cytokines are also involved in several developmental processes during embryogenesis. They are produced by a wide variety of haemopoietic and non-haemopoietic cell types and can have effects on both nearby cells or throughout the organism, sometimes strongly dependent on the presence of other chemicals. The Cytokine family is mainly consisting of smaller? proteins or glycoproteins (proteins with an added sugar chain) with a mass of 8-30 kDa.
and for an overview maybe adding some tables like the spanish would be a good idea:
|IL-1||Proinflamatoric||Células mononucleares||Microbiana o activación cascada inflamatoria (CI)||Pirógeno|
|IL-2||Antiinflamatoria||linfocitos Th colaboradores||Sustancias microbianas o activación de CI||factores de crecimiento de células T induciendo a la proliferación de todos los tipos de subpoblaciones linfocitarias. Estimula síntesis de interferón liberación de IL-1, TNF-α y beta|
|IL-4||Antiinflamatorio||Linfocitos Th, mastocitos y basófilos||Desconocido||Bloquea síntesis de citocinas, inhibe la síntesis de NO|
|Monocitos, macrógafos, célula endotelial y fibrobalstos||Il-1 y endotoxinas||Pirógeno, síntesis de inmunoglobulinas. Activación de la síntesis de de proteínas de fase aguda|
|IL-8||Proinflamatoria||Monocitos, macrófagos, célula endoltelias y fibroblastos||IL-1,TNF-alfa y endotoxinas||Factor quimiotáctico y activador de neutrófilos|
- KristianMolhave 22:18, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
- "intro .. in plain language for the lay reader [please]" + "This is a very valid comment. That's probably one of the most unreadable intros I've seen" .. these posts surprised me (I had enjoyed the introduction as a lucid and purposeful overview) - but looking back I can agree it could be more helpful for many readers. The posts make pretty good suggestions - but look like a lot of work. As an immediate step, would it help to link more of the terms used (protein, immune system etc) to relevant articles?
- SquisherDa (talk) 07:21, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
 Receptor interaction
"Cytokines act by binding to their well specific cytokine receptor". - Is this correct, or should well read cell (or wall)?
If lymyphokines are a sub-set of cytokines, then how can the former be discovered in the 1960s, and the latter in the 1970s (according to the article)?
- Uhh, the members may have been discovered before the terminology came in vogue. Do you have any historical pointers? JFW | T@lk 21:33, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)
 Major revision
The cytokine topic was totally outdated, and contained a number of abstract, quite irrelevant information. I've completely rewritten the topic to provide a more encyclopaedic approach. I have used British Spelling in the article. If the reader's eyes are irritated, he or she is welcome to change it to American Spellings.
I have also deleted the section on cytokine history, as it really has very little to offer. As to the specific functions of various cytokines, even an encyclopaedia may not be enough to contain all the functions. But, I'll soon put up a separate article containing a table of their important functions.--Balaji 10:39, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
 Apart from...
- "Apart from their importance in the development and functioning of the immune system, cytokines play a major role in a variety of immunological, inflammatory and infectious diseases."
Is it just me, or wouldn't anything involving the immune system automatically play a role in the progress (or lack thereof) of immunological, inflammatory, and infectious diseases? The first mention doesn't just mention a healthy immune system, so perhaps that could be specified, or simply delete the latter? I'm not sure why the distinction is made. Tyciol 10:00, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
- Maybe it is allusion to the sometimes negative role cytokines play in developing pathologies. Inflammatory cytokines, for example can be responsible for the (lethal/painful) inflammation seen in inflammation-type diseases, without the cytokines inflammation wouldn't occur, and the person would remain healthy while still maintaining a sufficient immune response to get rid of the pathogen. Other examples could be cytokine mimics used by viruses and cancers to "confuse" and/or supress host immune responses; and the role cytokines play in excacerbating certain autoimmune disorders.--ZayZayEM 03:17, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
 proposed 'Research' section
Hello all - this is a paragraph added yesterday by Langrl2 as the second section of the article.
- Recent research indicates that cytokines, a group of chemicals that are produced by various cells in the body, may be responsible for generating the response of pain. Medications that affect the release of cytokines or block the action of cytokines may reduce the pain response. Various anti-cytokine medications are now being used to treat painful disease states such as Rheumatoid Arthritis and Crohn's Disease. In this study the anti-cytokine medication, Thalidomide, is being evaluated for its effect in treating pain associated with Arachnoiditis.
Recent research indicates that cytokines, a group of chemicals that are produced by various cells in the body, may be responsible for generating the response of pain. Medications that affect the release of cytokines or block the action of cytokines may reduce the pain response. Various anti-cytokine medications are now being used to treat painful disease states such as Rheumatoid Arthritis and Crohn's Disease. In this study the anti-cytokine medication, Thalidomide, is being evaluated for its effect in treating pain associated with Arachnoiditis.
 Emphasis And Introduction
I would agree with the other comments about making the introduction of less turgid and more readable. However I would also add that this article completely fails to communicate exactly what these signaling molecules do for the relationship between the brain and the body, and their enormous spread of influence on the brain and body. There is more and more evidence that cytokines are responsible for every aspect of so-called sickness behavior, and that part of their job so to speak is to shut the brain down, so that we are not running around in the world wasting precious metabolic and homeostatic resources and instead we go to sleep or at least rest and conserved our energies to fight off an invader. In other words the signaling that these molecules do is centrally directed at the brain (but not just the brain). There is an increasing sense that cytokines also play a major role in both pain and depression, and additionally that mysterious and poorly understood disorders like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and perhaps even IBS involve dysregulation of complex control loops that link the brain and autonomic nervous system to the immune and endocrine systems, and that they show measurable anomalies of cytokine function typically in the inflammatory direction. In other words, the scope and range of cytokine affects is huge, and much broader than the restricted immune signaling notions communicated in this piece. Additionally, there is more and more evidence that disruption of cytokine regulation may play a role in a host of diseases of aging, including Alzheimer's disease, where pro-inflammatory cytokines are increasingly linked to the progression of the disease. In other words this article basically gives what is now a seriously out of date view of cytokine function. It needs a real cytokine researcher to come in and update it and clean it up. 22.214.171.124 (talk) 13:27, 10 April 2008 (UTC) DFW April 10, 2008
- Thank you for your suggestion. When you feel an article needs improvement, please feel free to make those changes. Wikipedia is a wiki, so anyone can edit almost any article by simply following the edit this page link at the top. The Wikipedia community encourages you to be bold in updating pages. Don't worry too much about making honest mistakes — they're likely to be found and corrected quickly. If you're not sure how editing works, check out how to edit a page, or use the sandbox to try out your editing skills. New contributors are always welcome. You don't even need to log in (although there are many reasons why you might want to). WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:54, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
 3 or 4 structural classifications?
The heading states that there are 4 classes based on structure, but only 3 are listed. Can someone determine whether there are 3 or 4, and if there are 4, what is the fourth class? Wcbpolish (talk) 13:45, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
- Yes, this needs attention! Specifically, the "four types" are:
* The four-α-helix bundle family * the IL-1 family, which primarily includes IL-1 and IL-18 * the IL-17 family, which has yet to be completely characterized
- and that isn't four!
- But the first type (the four-α-helix bundle family) is split out:
1. the IL-2 subfamily 2. the interferon (IFN) subfamily 3. the IL-10 subfamily.
- and there's a note that may cast light:
o The first of these three subfamilies is the largest ..
- Was the writer thinking of the IL-2s as a family in themselves? so that the corrected list of "four types" would be like (A) here.
(A) * the IL-2 family * other four-α-helix bundle cytokines * the IL-1 family, which primarily includes IL-1 and IL-18 * the IL-17 family, which has yet to be completely characterized
- Or (reading further through the same note):
o .. four α-helix bundle cytokines can be grouped into long-chain and short-chain cytokines
- suggesting (B).
(B) * short-chain four-α-helix bundle cytokines * long-chain four-α-helix bundle cytokines * the IL-1 family, which primarily includes IL-1 and IL-18 * the IL-17 family, which has yet to be completely characterized
- The reality may be that researchers use whichever 'view' works better to organise the properties / observations / queries / agenda that shape their work for the coming week! Or, of course, (C) the writer meant three (but was thinking ahead to all the upcoming four-α-helix bundles?).
- Can someone that knows please edit boldly?!
I'm accustomed to seeing cytokines grouped cladistic nomenclatures, based primarily on sequence, rather than tertiary structures. It works, in no small part because that taxonomy has some relationships to immunologic functions (common-gamma chain cytokines generally being proliferative and survival factors, Commmon-beta chain cytokines being involved in hematopoietic differentiation). I can't see back into the edit history far enough to see who proposed structural classification, but I can see the argument for it - even if it's not what I've encountered. A few secondary notes:
- The groupings I've seen elsewhere can get rather unruly, and there are orphans to be found. The "interferon family" probably refers to the type I interferons (alphas and betas), since type II interferon (gamma) is more homologous to IL10.
- IL1 and IL17 receptors share homology with TLRs, as well as some signaling components -
- Could probably merge the odd orphan "Cysteine knot" TGF section below in.
- There may be room to briefly include chemokines and growth factors (NGF, VEGF, BMP and other related families) in such a hierarchy - but I can envision it getting very unruly quite quickly.
- The discussion up top of the distinctions between cytokines and other extracellular signaling mediators is worthwhile, but probably deserves its own heading, at the risk of presenting too much confusing detail at too introductory a stage.
- Corollary to this, the article avoids a distinction of cytokine solubility - some classical cytokines like TNF-alpha have been described as being bioactive in both soluble and membrane-bound forms - but this brings up a problem whether we need to invoke membrane-only TNF family members, and whether or not they deserve classification as a "cytokine".
- I suppose I could try a test edit page, see how everyone likes it, then come to a decision?
 Error in Introduction?
First it says cytokines can be proteins, peptides or glycoproteins, later it says that "the term cytokine ncompasses a large and diverse family of polypeptide regulators." A peptide isn't a polypeptide, by my reading of the wikipedia article on peptides, so it seems like the section I quoted wasn't written well. 126.96.36.199 (talk) 12:17, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
- My impression is that better clarity in the peptides article might fix this.
- SquisherDa (talk) 08:09, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
 Pronunciation (Introduction?)
Could the article tell us how to pronounce the term? - sigh-toe-ky-knee (four syllables)? or sigh-toe-kine (three)? Once you know the term's (Greek) origin, the four-syllable version is the obvious candidate .. but most readers will want to use the same pronunciation as most other people - and it's hard to guess what % (ie 'most' or not, of 'other people') have read the article / know the Greek origin! (Usage may well be divided / controversial / evolving .. making guidance harder to provide .. but also making guidance more necessary!)
Of course, the pronunciation ought to be stated in the usual IPA /phonemic style/ .. I haven't tried to do that in this post, as it's well beyond my editing skills.
 Major deletion of duplicated/triplicated sections
Looks as if some one was practising editing on the article, and all sections were duplicated (some triplicated!). While I compared the duplicated sections side by side, I may have missed some additions. Please excuse and correct any errors which crept in... Christom (talk) 07:24, 15 March 2013 (UTC)