AAT Bioquest

Are interleukins a cytokine?

Posted October 23, 2023


Interleukins are a subfamily of cytokines. Although both are types of signaling molecules and both act as modulators of cellular behavior, there are a few significant points of distinction between the two: 

  • Cytokines are a large group of cellular messenger molecules while interleukins are a subset of cytokines. 
  • Cytokines refer to an umbrella group of small proteins involved in cell signaling, whereas interleukins refer to a specific group of cytokines that regulate the immune and inflammatory responses.
  • Cytokines can have autocrine, endocrine or paracrine action, while interleukins have either autocrine or paracrine action.     
Additional resources

Interleukin-34, a comprehensive review

Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA)

Screen Quest™ Colorimetric ELISA cAMP Assay Kit