Cytokines are small proteins involved in human immune system and can be secreted by a broad range of cells, such as macrophages, B lymphocytes, T lymphocytes, mast cells, endothelial cells, fibroblasts, and various stromal cells. Cytokines have specific effects on the interactions and communications between cells and are important in cell signaling including autocrine signaling, paracrine signaling and endocrine signaling. A given cytokine may be produced by more than one type of cells.

Cytokines have important roles in chemically induced tissue damage repair, in cancer development and progression, in the control of cell replication and apoptosis, and in the modulation of immune reactions such as sensitization. Cytokines are involved in the pathogenesis of many inflammatory and autoimmune diseases and can also cause diseases by themselves. They are therefore attractive therapeutic targets and cytokine-based drugs which act either by stimulating or blocking their activities are becoming more and more important in the treatment and management of many diseases.

Interaction between inflammatory cells and cytokine milieu in Taoism Figure 1. Interaction between inflammatory cells and cytokine milieu in Taoism. (Liu, X., et al., 2013)

Creative Biolabs provides a comprehensive target validation services to help confirm various types of cytokines as therapeutic targets of drug discovery process thus to deal with data reproducibility crisis which is a big obstacle for drug research and development and may lead to failure and high risk of investment.

Creative Biolabs provides a comprehensive list of assays on multiple high-quality platforms to characterize the features of different cytokines as your drug targets to advance your drug discovery. With experienced experts and cutting-edge technologies, we can provide high-quality and reliable services in a time-saving and cost-efficient manner. We offer professional target validation services for the following types of cytokines.

Interleukin (IL)

Interleukin (IL) is a group of cytokines produced by a variety of cells, mainly T cells. Interleukin has a variety of functions, mainly involved in directing other immune cells to divide and differentiate. Each interleukin acts on a specific, limited cell population expressing its cognate receptors. Except for immune functions, interleukins are also involved in many other physiological functions. The understanding of their actions has enhanced the understanding of the pathogenesis of human diseases. Interleukins are potential drug targets for targeted therapy.

Interferon (IFN)

Interferon (IFN) is a group of cytokines made and released by host cells in response to the presence of several pathogens, such as viruses, bacteria, parasites, and also tumor cells. Interferon can be classified into three main groups: type I IFN, type II IFN and type III IFN. They are important for the regulation of immune system. Research suggests that blocking the signal from IFN would allow the immune system to attack tumors, and this may provide a potential target.

Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF)

Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) superfamily is a group of cytokines mainly secreted by immune cells, primarily macrophages. They can regulate diverse cell functions, including inducing cell death of certain tumor cell lines, immune response and inflammation, proliferation, differentiation and embryogenesis. Thus, anti-TNF drugs have become the useful target and most important tool in the management of various diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriasis.

Growth Factor (GF)

Growth factor (GF) is generally considered as a subset of cytokines and is usually a protein or a steroid hormone. Growth factor is secreted by neighboring cells, distant tissues and glands, or even tumor cells themselves and it is important for regulating a variety of cellular processes, including stimulating cell growth, differentiation, proliferation, healing, survival and inflammation. Nowadays, drugs targeting growth factors have made great progress in the treatment of oncologic diseases, cardiovascular diseases, autoimmune diseases, diabetic mellitus, etc.


Chemokines are a family of small cytokines secreted by cells and they have the ability to induce directed chemotaxis in nearby responsive cells. Chemokines exert their biological effects by interacting with chemokine receptors that are selectively found on the surfaces of their target cells. Some chemokines are considered pro-inflammatory while others are considered homeostatic. Chemokines play a critical role in various physiological and pathological processes, including inflammation, immune system development and function, embryogenesis, tumorigenesis and cancer metastasis. Thus they are potential targets for cancer, diabetes, inflammatory diseases and immunological diseases.

Creative Biolabs has a dedicated assay development team that will work closely with you to design customized assays for your specific drug target. Our service will meet your specific needs fast at extremely competitive prices. If you need more information, please feel free to contact us at anytime. We look forward to working with you and helping your drug research and development project succeed.


  1. Liu, X., et al., 2013. Drug targets in the cytokine universe for autoimmune disease. Trends in Immunology, 34(3), pp. 120–128.
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