Cytokines in Drosophila immunity

Immunol Lett. 2016 Feb;170:42-51. doi: 10.1016/j.imlet.2015.12.005. Epub 2015 Dec 28.


Cytokines are a large and diverse group of small proteins that can affect many biological processes, but most commonly cytokines are known as mediators of the immune response. In the event of an infection, cytokines are produced in response to an immune stimulus, and they function as key regulators of the immune response. Cytokines come in many shapes and sizes, and although they vary greatly in structure, their functions have been well conserved in evolution. The immune signaling pathways that respond to cytokines are remarkably conserved from fly to man. Therefore, Drosophila melanogaster, provides an excellent platform for studying the biology and function of cytokines. In this review, we will describe the cytokines and cytokine-like molecules found in the fly and discuss their roles in host immunity.

Keywords: Cytokines; Innate immunity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytokines / genetics
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Drosophila / immunology*
  • Drosophila / metabolism*
  • Immune System / cytology
  • Immune System / physiology
  • Immunity*
  • Signal Transduction


  • Cytokines