Since the tenn cytokines was first introduced in 1974, an enonnous amount of work has been done to identify and characterize the cytokines and to describe their functions and roles in varied circumstances. Cytokines are proteins or glycoproteins produced by various cell types, but most frequently by lymphocytes, monocytes/macrophages, mast cells, and fibroblasts. They are powerful local mediators that influence important biological processes, including cell survival, proliferation, repair, and fibrosis. Also, these proteins mediate the initiation and maintenance of immune responses and inflammation. Their importance to physiological and pathological processes is undoubted and the clinical application of both the molecules and their antagonists is assuming increasing importance.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)