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Definition of Cytokine

Cytokine: A small protein released by cells that has a specific effect on the interactions between cells, on communications between cells or on the behavior of cells. The cytokines includes the interleukins, lymphokines and cell signal molecules, such as tumor necrosis factor and the interferons, which trigger inflammation and respond to infections.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=11937
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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