Cytokines are soluble peptides secreted by several kinds of cells, they mediate many immune and inflammatory reactions, and regulate several biochemical processes in and around the cells that produce them. They may act on different cell types (pleiotropic effects) and have overlapping effects (redundancy); furthermore, their action may be local or systemic. In most tissues, including the liver, constitutive production of cytokines is absent or minimal. However, as physiologic and pathologic stimuli activate cells, the production of these molecules increases, and they orchestrate the tissue's response to the stimulus. Phenotype of the immune response is a function of the repertoire of cytokines produced in the early phases (1).
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