cy·​to·​kine | \ ˈsī-tə-ˌkīn How to pronounce cytokine (audio) \

Definition of cytokine

: any of a class of immunoregulatory proteins (such as interleukin or interferon) that are secreted by cells especially of the immune system

Examples of cytokine in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Endometriosis lesions of any size can release varying levels of prostaglandins or cytokines (chemicals associated with pain), Dr. Hornstein says. Cassie Shortsleeve, SELF, "What Exactly Are the Stages of Endometriosis?," 25 Sep. 2019 For now, all doctors can do if a patient develops a severe cytokine storm is try to counter it, with near-heroic efforts in an intensive care unit to battle the characteristic fever, plunging blood pressure, and trouble breathing. Sharon Begley, STAT, "Tweaking how CAR-T therapy kills tumors could stop a dangerous side effect, study finds," 17 Jan. 2020 Another potential strategy is to deplete the macrophage that churn out the culprit cytokines, Huang says—that, too, worked in the mice. Jennifer Couzin-frankel, Science | AAAS, "Deciphering a cancer treatment’s dark side," 17 Jan. 2020 The disease causes certain immune signaling molecules, called cytokines, to go into overdrive. Ryan Prior, CNN, "This med student was given last rites before finding a treatment that saved his life. His method could help millions," 14 Sep. 2019 If the T cells do release cytokines, that will mean the vaccine worked as intended. oregonlive, "OHSU doc dreams of life-time immunity with one flu shot," 21 Sep. 2019 The researchers searched for drugs that could stem the flood of cytokines that the body releases in response to infection. Quanta Magazine, "A New Way to Predict Infection’s Toll," 30 Aug. 2016 Gust interprets it as a patient’s symptoms having more to do with cytokines than the CAR-T cells. Ilana Yurkiewicz, Smithsonian, "The Possibilities and Risks of Genetically Altering Immune Cells to Fight Cancer," 26 Oct. 2019 Conversely, being under psychological stress alters the way certain hormones (including cortisol and epinephrine) and inflammatory molecules (like cytokines) work in the body, which may then trigger psoriasis flares in some people. Claire Gillespie, SELF, "My Psoriasis and Depression Are Deeply Connected," 4 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cytokine.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cytokine

1974, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cytokine

cyt- + -kine (as in lymphokine)

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Time Traveler for cytokine

Time Traveler

The first known use of cytokine was in 1974

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Last Updated

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cytokine.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for cytokine


cy·​to·​kine | \ ˈsīt-ə-ˌkīn How to pronounce cytokine (audio) \

Medical Definition of cytokine

: any of a class of immunoregulatory proteins (as interleukin, tumor necrosis factor, and interferon) that are secreted by cells especially of the immune system

More from Merriam-Webster on cytokine

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cytokine Encyclopedia article about cytokine

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