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Keywords:

  • endocrine;
  • cytokine;
  • autoimmune;
  • tumour

Abstract

Cytokines, the polypeptide mediators of the immune system, were shown to exert numerous actions on endocrine functions. Bidirectional links based on the sharing of mediators and receptors between the immune and neuroendocrine systems lead to the concept of the immune—neuroendocrine system that seems to constitute an important and sophisticated regulatory system in the homeostasis. Several cytokines were found to be involved in the pathogenesis of diseases of the endocrine system. In this brief review, we attempt to present a general outline of the local actions of cytokines on cells of endocrine organs with an emphasis on disease etiology (pituitary tumours and autoimmune endocrine diseases in particular).