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CYTOKINES, GROWTH FACTORS & HORMONES
Cytokines (Greek cyto-, cell; and -kinos, movement) are small cell-signaling protein molecules that are secreted by numerous cells and are a category of signaling molecules used extensively in intercellular communication. Cytokines can be classified as proteins, peptides, or glycoproteins; the term "cytokine" encompasses a large and diverse family of regulators produced throughout the body by cells of diverse embryological origin.
A growth factor is a naturally occurring substance capable of stimulating cellular growth, proliferation and cellular differentiation. Usually it is a protein or a steroid hormone. Growth factors are important for regulating a variety of cellular processes.
A hormone (from Greek ὁρμή, "impetus") is a chemical released by a cell or a gland in one part of the body that sends out messages that affect cells in other parts of the organism.
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Luigi Fontana, Manlio Vinciguerra, et al. Growth Factors, Nutrient Signaling, and Cardiovascular Aging. Circ. Res, 2012; 110: 1139 - 1150.
Eileen Conaway. Bioidentical Hormones: An Evidence-Based Review for Primary Care Providers. J Am Osteopath Assoc, 2011; 111: 153 - 164.