Cytokines (Greek cyto-, cell; and -kinos, movement) are a broad and loose category of small proteins (~5–20 kDa) that are important in cell signaling - they are released by cells and affect the behavior of other cells, and sometimes the releasing cell itself.

Cytokines and angiogenic factors are closely linked to the brain cancer behavior. Moreover, recent studies suggest a link between inflammation and tumorigenesis, underlying the complex nature of this topic, especially the anti- and pro-tumoral activities of inflammation and the two-way interactions between immune and tumor cells. The current understanding of the mechanisms by which CNS cancer cells modulate the immune system, especially how bi-directional communications between immune cells and tumor cells create an immunosuppressed microenvironment, gives important information about the promotion of tumor survival and growth 1).

Chemokines are a superfamily of secreted proteins involved in immunoregulatory and inflammatory processes. The superfamily is divided into four subfamilies based on the arrangement of N-terminal cysteine residues of the mature peptide.

Cytokines include chemokines, interferons, interleukins, lymphokines, tumor necrosis factor but generally not hormones or growth factors. Cytokines are produced by broad range of cells, including immune cells like macrophages, B lymphocytes, T lymphocytes and mast cells, as well as endothelial cells, fibroblasts, and various stromal cells; a given cytokine may be produced by more than one type of cell.

Several factors account for the tumorigenicity of human gliomas, including cytokines and their receptors.

see Interleukins

Inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin 6 and tumor necrosis factor-α, are gaining attention as important etiologic factors associated with discogenic pain.

Inflammasomes are multiprotein complexes that trigger the activation of caspase 1 and subsequently the maturation of proinflammatory cytokines interleukin-1β and interleukin-18. These cytokines play a critical role in mediating inflammation and innate immunity response. Among various inflammasome complexes, the NLRP3 inflammasome is the best characterized, which has been demonstrated as a crucial role in various diseases.

Casili G, Paterniti I, Campolo M, Esposito E, Cuzzocrea S. The Role of Neuro-Inflammation and Innate Immunity in Pathophysiology of Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2023;1394:41-49. doi: 10.1007/978-3-031-14732-6_3. PMID: 36587380.
  • cytokine.txt
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