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Cytokine Products by Family

Adipocytes secrete adipocytokines, such as adiponectin, leptin, and resistin, which have pro- and anti-inflammatory effects.


• Adipokines include inflammatory mediators, angiogenic proteins, and metabolic regulators that are secreted by cells present in the adipose tissue

• Adipokines regulate insulin signaling and may contribute to the development of metabolic disorders

Chemokines bind to G protein-coupled receptors and regulate cell migration under homeostatic and inflammatory conditions.


• There are four chemokine subfamilies: C, CC, CXC, and CX3C chemokines

• Chemokines bind to conventional G protein-coupled seven transmembrane receptors, with some promiscuity

• Chemokines direct cell migration during development, homeostatic conditions, and inflammation

GM-CSF, IL-3, and IL-5 are common beta chain cytokines with overlapping roles in regulating hematopoietic cell signaling

Common Receptor Beta Chain Family

Common beta-chain family members include GM-CSF, IL-3, and IL-5

These cytokines signal through heterodimeric receptor complexes that contain the common beta-chain subunit

• Common beta-chain family cytokines regulate proliferation, differentiation, and functions of hematopoietic cell types  

Image of the common cytokine receptor gamma chain family cytokines, IL-2, IL-4, and IL-7, and their receptor structures

Common Receptor Gamma Chain Family

• Members of the common gamma-chain cytokine family include IL-2, IL-4, IL-7, IL-9, IL-15, and IL-21

• All common gamma-chain family cytokines signal through receptors that contain the common gamma-chain subunit

• Common gamma-chain family cytokines regulate the development, survival, proliferation, differentiation, and functions of multiple immune cell types

Illustration showing the ligand-receptor interactions for IL-1a, IL-1b, IL-18, and IL-33

IL-1 Family Cytokines

• Members of the IL-1 cytokine family include IL-1 alpha, IL-1 beta, IL-1ra, IL-18, IL-33, IL-36 alpha, IL-36 beta, IL-36 gamma, IL-36Ra, IL-37, and IL-38

• All family members share a conserved beta-trefoil structure and bind to a primary IL-1 family receptor subunit, which subsequently recruits an accessory receptor 

• IL-1 family cytokines play a key role in regulating inflammation

IL-6 belongs to a family of long-chain four alpha helix bundle cytokines that bind to gp130 and mediate a range of effects

IL-6 Family Cytokines

• Members of the IL-6 cytokine family include IL-6, IL-11, IL-27 p28/IL-30, IL-31, LIF, OSM, CLC, CNTF, CT-1, and Neuropoietin

• Most IL-6 family cytokines signal through a receptor complex that contains the gp130 signaling receptor subunit

• IL-6 family cytokines have distinct and overlapping functions, which include the induction of hepatic acute phase proteins, B cell stimulation, and metabolic and neurotrophic functions

Illustration showing the ligand-receptor interactions for IL-10

IL-10 Family Cytokines

Members of the IL-10 cytokine family include IL-10, IL-19, IL-20, IL-22, IL-24, and IL-26

• These cytokines have structural similarities and signal through heterodimeric receptor complexes with common subunits

• IL-10 has anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive effects, while other IL-10 family cytokines are primarily involved in regulating the activities of epithelial cells to maintain tissue homeostasis

IL-12 family cytokines are heterodimeric proteins that share their alpha and beta subunits among different members

IL-12 Family Cytokines

• The IL-12 family of heterodimeric cytokines includes IL-12, IL-23, IL-27, IL-35, and IL-39

• Each member of the IL-12 family consists of an alpha chain and a beta chain subunit, which are shared among different family members

• IL-12 family cytokines differentially regulate the activities of specific T cell subsets, and have pro- or anti-inflammatory effects

Image showing the ligand-receptor interactions for IL-17/IL-17A, IL-17F, and IL-17A/F

IL-17 Family Cytokines

• Members of the IL-17 cytokine family include IL-17A, IL-17B, IL-17C, IL-17D, IL-17E/IL-25, and IL-17F

• These cytokines have a highly conserved C-terminus containing a cysteine-knot fold structure and are secreted as dimers

• IL-17 family cytokines bind to members of the IL-17 receptor family and primarily promote pro-inflammatory immune responses

Three families of interferons consist of multiple members with anti-viral, anti-proliferative, and immunomodulatory effects


Type I interferons include IFN-alpha, IFN-beta, IFN-omega, IFN-kappa, and Limitin/IFN-zeta

IFN-gamma is the only member of the Type II interferon group

• Type III interferons include IL-28/IFN-lambda 1, IL-28A/IFN-lambda 2, IL-28B/IFN-lambda 3, and IFN-lambda 4

• Members of all of the interferon families have anti-viral, anti-proliferative, and immunoregulatory effects

M-CSF, SCF, and Flt-3 ligand are structurally-related cytokines that regulate HSC mobilization and myeloid differentiation

M-CSF, SCF, Flt-3 L

M-CSF, SCF, Flt-3 Ligand are short-chain, four-helix bundle cytokines with 4 conserved cysteines in their extracellular domains

• All three of these cytokines bind to class III receptor tyrosine kinases, leading to receptor dimerization, autophosphorylation, and activation

• M-CSF, SCF, and Flt-3 Ligand regulate the proliferation and differentiation of multiple hematopoietic cell lineages

The TNF superfamily consists of multiple cytokines that regulate apoptosis and both innate and adaptive immune cell functions

TNF Superfamily

• There are 19 TNF superfamily ligands and 29 receptors 

• TNF superfamily ligands are homotrimers that bind to oligomeric type I or type II transmembrane receptors 

• TNF superfamily members regulate apoptosis, cell type-specific responses, and multiple immune cell functions, including T cell co-stimulation, natural killer cell activation, and B cell activation

Featured Cytokine Products

Picture of vials of R&D Systems GMP-grade recombinant proteins

GMP-grade Proteins

We produce our own GMP cytokines and growth factors for use as ancillary reagents in ex vivo cell manufacturing processes. GMP-grade proteins come with extensive documentation to provide cell therapy researchers with a consistent, transparent, fully traceable source of reagents.

Ribbon structure of a recombinant protein

Custom Protein Libraries

Select from our portfolio of over 5,000 R&D Systems bioactive proteins and we will aliquot and deliver your protein library to you in a 96-well plate. Custom Protein Libraries are ideal for high throughput screening and will significantly reduce the amount of hands-on time needed to set-up your experiments. 

Vials containing protein ribbon structures to represent bulk quantities of recombinant proteins

Bulk Proteins

If your experiments require large quantities of a particular protein, contact us for a bulk quote. We have the capacity and the expertise to scale up the production of any protein to meet your needs, and we offer economical pricing on bulk orders.

Featured Cytokine Resources

Image of the common cytokine receptor gamma chain family cytokines, IL-2, IL-4, and IL-7, and their receptor structures

Cytokine Signaling Pathways

Cytokines activate a diverse array of intracellular signaling pathways that can induce processes such as cell proliferation, differentiation, migration, and cell death. Explore the signaling pathways that are activated by different cytokine families, the primary target cells that they affect, and the biological effects that they mediate using our interactive signaling pathways.

Chemokine Superfamily Poster Teaser Solo

Chemokine Superfamily Poster

Chemokines and their receptors control cell migration during both homeostasis and inflammation and are associated with a diverse array of pathological conditions. Learn more about chemokine ligand-receptor interactions, chemokine signaling pathways, and chemokine receptors implicated in the pathogenesis of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases with our Chemokine Superfamily poster.

Thumbnail cover of Bio-Techne’s Cytokines and Proteins User’s Guide eBook

Cytokines and Proteins User's Guide eBook

Download this guide to learn about the different applications for cytokines in cell biology research. From cell culture and lineage differentiation to antibody and immunoassay development, this guide highlights how recombinant proteins are being utilized in diverse research areas.

Additional Cytokine-Related Products and Services

Cell Culture Reagents Teaser Solo

Cell Culture Reagents

Browse our complete collection of products for cell culture. We offer a comprehensive range of reagents to promote robust cell growth, including media and supplements, FBS, basement membrane extracts, and custom cell culture services.

Sandwich ELISA assay principle showing an antigen bound between specific capture and detection antibodies

Immunoassays for Cytokine Detection

From our complete, ready-to-use Quantikine™ ELISA Kits to our multiplex Luminex® Assays and fully automated Simple Plex™ Assays, you can count on our immunoassays to deliver accurate, reproducible, high-quality data for every experimental sample that you test.

3D Protein Structure

Custom Protein Services

For more specialized requests, contact our custom protein services team. Whether you are looking for a different formulation, incorporation of a non-standard label, or a specific mutated version of a protein, we have the capabilities and the team to develop the protein that you need.

Background Information on Cytokines