The role of differential cytology patterns in peripheral blood and bronchoalveolar lavage samples is increasingly investigated as a potential adjunct to diagnose acute and chronic allograft dysfunction after lung transplantation. While these profiles might facilitate the diagnosis of acute cellular rejection, low sensitivity and specificity of these patterns limit direct translation in a clinical setting. In this context, the identification of other biomarkers is needed. This review article gives an overview of cytokine profiles of plasma and bronchoalveolar lavage samples during acute cellular rejection. The value of these cytokines in supporting the diagnosis of acute cellular rejection is discussed. Current findings on the topic are highlighted and experimental settings for future research projects are identified.