Which of the cytokines is the most important?
Tumor necrosis factor was once considered to be the most important of the cytokines. Although its formation seems to initiate and propagate the remainder of the inflammatory cascade, recent research on the cytokine pathway reveals it to be a tightly regulated balance among proinflammatory cytokines, anti-inflammatory cytokines, and soluble inhibitors of proinflammatory cytokines.
Schulte W, Bernhagen J, Bucala R: Cytokines in sepsis: potent immunoregulators and potential therapeutic targets—An updated review. Mediators Inflamm 2013;2013:165974. Epub Jun 18, 2012.