Inflammation is a protective response to infection or injury. The inflammatory response is controlled primarily by cytokines, which are endogenous mediators of the immune system. Cytokines are produced by various different cell types in response to multiple types of stimuli and have overlapping biologic activity. Cytokines also are directly involved in the activation of cells at the inflammatory site. Movement of leukocytes to the inflammatory site is directed along a chemotactic gradient, where the strongest concentration of chemoattractants is at the site of inflammation. Cytokines are involved at each step of this process and act both locally and systemically to initiate, maintain, and finally resolve the inflammatory response. The interplay among these proinflammatory cytokines, antiinflammatory cytokines, and naturally occurring cytokine inhibitors determines the inflammatory response and its effectiveness. Because of the immaturity of the immune system of newborn cytokine is specific. Tumor necrosis factor- (TNF-) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) amplify the immune response through activation of the cytokine cascade and the production of other proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines. In a group of proinflammatory cytokines TNF- and IL-6 have undoubtedly significant role in the cytokine cascades of physiological and pathophysiological responses.

Key words: interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, newborn

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