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Table 2 Biological functions of the studied cytokines and some evidence on their expression related to radiation lung treatment.

From: Radiation produces differential changes in cytokine profiles in radiation lung fibrosis sensitive and resistant mice

Cytokine Function Prior evidence related to RT
G-CSF Induces the survival, proliferation, and differentiation of neutrophilic granulocyte precursor cells and functionally activates mature blood neutrophils Pulmonary toxicity26
GM-CSF Stimulates the production of neutrophilic granulocytes, macrophages, and mixed granulocyte-macrophage colonies from bone marrow cells and stimulates the formation of eosinophil colonies from fetal liver progenitor cells Elevation induced by radiation24
IFN-γ Coordinates a diverse array of cellular programs through transcriptional regulation of immunologically relevant genes, antiviral and antineoplastic activity N/A
IL-1α Plays a role in various immune responses, inflammatory processes, and hematopoiesis. Potential marker4,5; causes radiation lung toxicity6.16,28
IL-1β Plays a role in immune defense against infection; induces fever, controls lymphocytes, increases the number of bone marrow cells and causes degeneration of bone joints Uncertain correlation with RT toxicity6
IL-2 Causes activation and differentiation of other T lymphocytes independently of antigen N/A
IL-4 Promotes antibody production by causing proliferation and differentiation of B-cells N/A
IL-5 Promotes eosinophil differentiation and activation in haematopoiesis and triggering activated B-cells for a terminal differentiation into Ig-secreting cells N/A
IL-6 Stimulates the growth and differentiation of B-cells and T-cells Potential marker4,5,29,30Cause radiation lung toxicity28
IL-7 Promotes growth of B-cell precursors and activation of mature T-cell N/A
IL-9 Stimulates the proliferation of erythroid precursor cells N/A
IL-10 Co-regulates mast cell growth; inhibits synthesis of pro-inflammatory cytokines; suppresses the antigen presentation capacity of antigen presenting cells; stimulatory towards certain T cells, mast cells and B cells Potential marker for lung toxicity27
IL-12p70 Involved in the differentiation of naive T cells into Th1 cells, which is important in resistance against pathogens N/A
IL-13 Plays a role in regulating inflammatory and immune responses and has anti-inflammatory activity Maybe related to RT lung damage, no evidence yet
IL-15 Stimulates the proliferation of T-lymphocytes; induces B-lymphocyte proliferation and differentiation. N/A
IL-17 Induces and mediates pro-inflammatory responses; induces the production of many other cytokines, chemokines and prostaglandins from many cell types Maybe related to RT lung damage, no evidence yet
IP-10 Selectively chemoattracts Th1 lymphocytes and monocytes and inhibits cytokine stimulated hematopoietic progenitor cell proliferation Fibrosis related14,32,18
KC Activates neutrophils and attracts neutrophils and T-lymphocytes Fibrosis related28, possible marker31
MCP-1 Causes cellular activation of specific functions related to host defense No correlation to RT4, fibrosis related14,18
MIP-1α Attracts macrophages and monocytes; stimulates macrophages, and may play a role in regulating haematopoiesis No significant correlation18
RANTES Attract eosinophils, monocytes, and lymphocytes Fibrosis sensitivity related14,18
TNF-α Regulates immune cells; causes apoptotic cell death, cellular proliferation, differentiation, inflammation, tumorigenesis, and viral replication; induces necrosis (death) of tumor cells and possesses a wide range of proinflammatory actions Causes radiation-induced lung toxicity22,28,37
MIP-1β Attracts macrophages and monocytes; stimulates macrophages and acute lung inflammation RT lung injury38