8 Differences between cytokines and chemokines

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020 by Sagar Aryal

Differences between Cytokines and Chemokines

Differences between Cytokines and Chemokines

Here are some differences:




1.DefinitionSmall proteins produced dominantly by immune cells which are important in cell signaling.Specific cytokines that are specially adapted for chemotaxis of cells.
2.DescriptionA broad family of chemical messengers serving to bring about the immune response.They are chemotactic cytokines.
3.Size~5–20 kDa~ 8-10 kDa
4.ClassificationCytokines include chemokines, interferon, interleukins, lymphokines, and tumor necrosis factor.Chemokines have been classified into four main subfamilies: CXC, CC, CX3C, and XC.
5.Involvement in immunityInvolved in both humoral and cell-mediated immunity.Involved only in directing cells of the immune system to a target site.
6.FunctionsHelp in signaling molecules that mediate and regulate immunity, inflammation, and hematopoiesis.

They are also critical controllers of the cell, and hence tissue, growth, migration, development, and differentiation.

Direct the migration of white blood cells to infected or damaged tissues i.e. guide cell movement towards a target location.

They are implicated in both immunological reactions and in the homeostasis of the immune system.

7.ImportanceServes a regulatory role (acts like messengers) in the immune system. The healing process following the resolution of infection is mediated by cytokines.It helps to ensure that the infection does not spread to other parts of the body from the origin or site of detection.
8.ExamplesIL-1,6,12, IFN-a, TNFα, IFN-γ etc.monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1 or CCL2), CCL1, CCL15, CCL21, CXCR1-7, XCL1 etc.

Differences between Cytokines and Chemokines

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