Definition of lymphokine in US English:



  • A substance produced by lymphocytes, such as interferon, that acts upon other cells of the immune system, e.g., by activating macrophages.

    • ‘Conversely, asthma is characterized by the presence of numerous inflammatory mediators, including leukotrienes, prostaglandins, histamine, eosinophilic basic proteins, and lymphokines.’
    • ‘After contact with an antigen, T cells secrete lymphokines - a group of proteins that do not interact with the antigens themselves, instead they stimulate the activity of other cells.’
    • ‘Cytokines that are secreted from lymphocytes are termed lymphokines, whereas those secreted by monocytes or macrophages are termed monokines.’
    • ‘Antigen expression can be augmented by concomitant treatment with lymphokines if necessary, which facilitates antibody recognition of the target cancer cell.’
    • ‘Over the six-month period, analysis revealed omega - 3 supplementation significantly reduced the number of circulating NK cells and lymphokine activated killer cells when compared to the placebo group.’


1960s: from lympho- + Greek kinein ‘to move’.