Chemokines Mnemonics

Difference between cytokines and chemokines

Cytokines are small proteins released by cells, the function of which is “cell-signaling“.

Chemokines are small cytokines, which functions as a “chemo-attractant“.

Types of Chemokines

When you go through the structural classification of chemokines, you come accross various arrangements of letter:

  • C: denotes cysteine
  • X: denotes other amino acids

chemokines

CXC (alpha chemokines): Acts on NEUTROPHILS.

  • Example: IL-8

C-C (beta chemokines): Acts on ALL LEUKOCYTES EXCEPT NEUTROPHILS

  • Monocyte Chemoattractant protein – 1 (MCP-1)
  • Regulated and Normal T cell expressed and secreted (RANTES)
  • Eotaxin

C (gamma chemokines): Acts on LYMPHOCYTES

  • Example: Lymphotaxin

CX3C (d-chemokine): Acts on Monocytes and T-lymphocytes

  • Only example: Fractalkaline

Mnemonic:

Just remember the timeline of cells during inflammation:

  1. First to appear: Neutrophil
  2. Then appears: Monocyte-macrophages (Remember as other leukocytes)
  3. Then in chronic inflammation: Lymphocytes

In the order of decreasing “letters” in the subfamily of chemokines:

  1. CXC = Alpha chemokines
  2. CC = Beta chemokines
  3. C = Gamma chemokines

CXC = Acts on neutrophils (IL-8)

CC = Acts on other leukocytes (MCP-1, RANTES, Eotaxin)

C = Acts on Lymphocytes (Lymphokines)

CX3C = Unique (Fractalkaline)

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