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Cytokines are a diverse family of intercellular signaling proteins that influence the movement, proliferation, differentiation, metabolism and membrane processes of target cells. Synthesis and release of cytokines from leukocytes in response to microbial stimuli are well known. This review, however, will present evidence that non-infectious stimuli can induce cytokine secretion from leukocytes and other cells (including muscle cells) following myocellular injury. The biological actions and potential adaptive values of these cytokines through the course of muscle necrosis and regeneration will be described.