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
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)
C (gamma chemokines): Acts on LYMPHOCYTES
- Example: Lymphotaxin
CX3C (d-chemokine): Acts on Monocytes and T-lymphocytes
- Only example: Fractalkaline
Just remember the timeline of cells during inflammation:
- First to appear: Neutrophil
- Then appears: Monocyte-macrophages (Remember as other leukocytes)
- Then in chronic inflammation: Lymphocytes
In the order of decreasing “letters” in the subfamily of chemokines:
- CXC = Alpha chemokines
- CC = Beta chemokines
- 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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