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Cytokines, Interferons, Interleukins and Colony Stimulating Factors – Cell-Mediated Immunity

by Peter Delves, PhD
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    We’ve heard quite a lot about cytokines. Let’s explore them in a little bit more detail. What exactly are they? And what exactly do they do? And how do they do it? Well, they tend to be rather small molecules, typically kind of in the range of 8-80 kilo Daltons. They’re secreted proteins, and really they act as messengers between cells. We can group them into sort of, five or so major groups: the interleukins, the colony-stimulating factors, chemokines, the interferons and the tumor necrosis factors. Some people classify chemokines independently of cytokines, but essentially they are chemotactic cytokines. They are great at multitasking. I don’t think there’s any example of a cytokine that just does one single job. They tend to have multiple roles. And they have multiple functions collectively, that include control of hematopoiesis and immune responses. And they function by binding to specific cytokine receptors. So for example, the cytokine interleukin-1, there’ll be an interleukin-1 receptor; the cytokine interleukin-2, there’ll be an interleukin-2 receptor and so forth. And when the cytokine binds to its receptor, it results in initiating an intracellular signaling cascade. And this signaling can lead either to the up-regulation or down-regulation of genes. And those genes can encode other cytokines, may encode cell surface molecules, other secreted molecules of various types. They may be genes that control cell proliferation or control cell differentiation, or cell survival. So let’s just go through the different groups of cytokines and pick out a few important points. Interferons, as their name suggests, interfere with viral replication. And there are two main types of interferon - type I and type II. Type I are interferon-alpha and interferon-beta. And these two particular interferons are produced by most nucleated cells of the body. In contrast, Type II interferon which is gamma...

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Cytokines, Interferons, Interleukins and Colony Stimulating Factors – Cell-Mediated Immunity by Peter Delves, PhD is from the course Humoral Immunity and Cell-Mediated Immunity. It contains the following chapters:

    • A Closer Look on Cytokines
    • Cytokines – Interferons
    • Cytokines – Interleukins
    • Cytokines – Colony Stimulating Factors

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. IL-10
    2. IL-1
    3. IL-2
    4. IL-17
    5. IL-22
    1. Cell apoptosis
    2. Cell proliferation
    3. Cell differentiation
    4. Cell survival
    5. Encoding cell surface molecules
    1. IFNγ
    2. IFNα
    3. IFNβ
    4. IL-10
    5. IL-22
    1. M-CSF
    2. G-CSF
    3. GM-CSF
    4. IFNγ
    5. IL-4

    Author of lecture Cytokines, Interferons, Interleukins and Colony Stimulating Factors – Cell-Mediated Immunity

     Peter Delves, PhD

    Peter Delves, PhD


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