First coined in 1993 to describe an immune reaction to a bone marrow transplant, a ‘cytokine storm’ results from a sudden and uncontrolled increase in levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines that target the body’s own cells. This potentially life threatening autoimmune reaction can be triggered by infections, certain drugs and autoimmune conditions such as arthritis.
When triggered, white blood cells release cytokines as part of the body’s natural response to infection. Major categories of cytokines include: interferons, interleukins, chemokines, colony-stimulating factors (CSFs), tumor necrosis factor (TNF).
These signalling cytokines “can promote a wide range of functions, some of which involve the control of cell proliferation and differentiation processes, autocrine, paracrine and/or endocrine activity, as well as regulating immune and inflammatory responses.”
However, the hyper inflammation caused by the uncontrolled release of cytokines in a storm can result in organ failure and possible death. Some COVID-19 patients with a “dysfunctional immune response” have had “massive cytokine and chemokine release” exhibiting higher levels of “TNFα, INFγ, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-7, IL-9, IL-10, IL-12, IL-13, IL-17, G-CSF, GM-CSF, MCSF, HGF and chemokines CXCL8, MCP1, IP10, MIP1α and MIP1β.”
In attempts to inhibit cytokines and/or their receptors include anti-inflammatory drugs such as corticosteroids, chloroquine, and colchicines.
Cytokines / Interleukin
LWP Cytokine and Immune 2
LWP Cytokine and Immune 1
According to Yale University researchers, the bacterium causing Lyme disease has circulated in the forests of North America for 60,000 years. Carried by ticks, the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi had been limited primarily to deer as their animal host. However, with forest fragmentation and a surge in the deer population, the ticks have multiplied, carrying the infection to other mammals including humans.
Lyme disease came to public attention suddenly in the 1970s when a group of children in Lyme, Connecticut, began exhibiting odd symptoms – bull’s eye shaped rashes, swollen knees, partial paralysis, headaches, and fatigue.
So named in the 17th century after cellula or the tiny rooms used by monks, cells are what all life on Earth is made of. All plants and animals are made of cells, and they are the living foundations of the specialized tissues and organs that they rely on for survival. There are over a hundred different cells in the human body, and they all consist of an outer plasma membrane, nucleus and cytoplasm populated by fibres, membranes and organelles (only blood cells do not contain nuclei and certain organelles such as mitochondria).
A “fluid mosaic model” of the membrane developed in the 1970s offers an understanding of its sophisticated and complex mechanics.