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Natural Health Glossary
Medical Terms, Therapies, Accreditation

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cytokines
A class of substances produced by cells of the immune system that can affect the immune response. Cytokines can also be produced in the laboratory by recombinant DNA technology and given to people to affect immune responses.

Adverse effects of cytokines have been linked to many disease states and conditions ranging from major depression and Alzheimer's disease to cancer, with levels either being elevated or changed.

Oversecretion of cytokines can trigger a dangerous syndrome known as a cytokine storm, a potentially fatal immune reaction consisting of a positive feedback loop between cytokines and immune cells, with highly elevated levels of various cytokines.

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