Cytokines. No, it’s not a type of robot (that’s what I would have thought), but rather one of the many cool things found in your body.
So, imagine that you are sick. You have a cold. I know, not fun, but it’s okay, you’re going to get better soon. These things that cause cold, germs and other pathogens, have entered your body. What your body does it pretty much say, “Oh no, you didn’t!” and tries kill them, in a nice way of course. White blood cells, found in your blood, are the main heroes in the story. But how exactly do your white blood cells get to the site of infection or your germs. Here is where the cytokines come in.
Cytokines are the behind-the-scences people that really should get most of the credit because they tell the white blood cell to go on stage at the right time. When germs enter your body and your body is ready to start to fight, your endothelial cells, cells found in the inner wall of your blood vessels, and other cells make the cytokines.
These are endothelial cells!
Anyway, cytokines send signals to your blood pretty much calling the white blood cells. “HEY, WE NEED HELP, WHITE BLOOD CELL!” say the cytokines, and the white blood cells come over. Eventually, the white blood cells come over, attach, roll, spread and eventually travel through the gaps of the endothelial cells (and sometimes the cell itself) to reach the germs!
This picture pretty much shows that. Cool stuff. Then the white blood cell goes and finds the germ and eats it via phagocytosis. Now, imagine this happening with like 100,000,000 cytokines and 100,000,000 white blood cells. Now you feel better! I know, isn’t that awesome!
This summer, I’ve been studying the specifics of endothelial cells when there are different cytokines in their environment. How do they change? I can’t share results yet, but all I can say is that the stuff that is going on in your body all the time is pretty amazing! My favorite part is that all these different parts work together to do something really nice for you.
Without cytokines, it’d be really hard and kind of impossible for you to get better, so this blog is dedicated to cytokines. Way to go! I thought you guys would find this very interesting. Once I can share all the stuff I found, I will, but this is just an introduction for what is to come!
Remember to always wash your hands to prevent the spreading of germs! Haha.