Dictionary > Interferons


(Science: cytokine) a family of glycoproteins derived from human cells which normally has a role in fighting viral infections by preventing virus multiplication in cells.
They are secreted by vertebrate cells in response to a wide variety of inducers and confer resistance against many different viruses, inhibit proliferation of normal and malignant cells, impede multiplication of intracellular parasites, enhance macrophage and granulocyte phagocytosis, augment natural killer cell activity, and show several other immunomodulatory functions.
interferon-alpha is made by leucocytes and interferon-gamma by fibroblasts after viral infection. Interferon-alpha and -beta are also called type i interferons, interferon-gamma as type II interferons, more usually classed as cytokines.
Pharmacological action: antineoplastic agent, antiviral agents.

You will also like...

"Cronopio dentiacutus", a prehistoric mammal (an illustration)
Mammalian Ancestors

Mammals are a diverse group of organisms, where most of them develop their offspring within the uterus of the mother. Ov..

The Dinosaurs

Dinosaurs represented a major turn in the evolutionary development of organisms on Earth. The first dinosaurs were presu..

Energy pyramid
Freshwater Community Energy Relationships – Producers & Consumers

This tutorial looks at the relationship between organisms. It also explores how energy is passed on in the food chain an..

An artist's depiction of the origin of amphibians
Amphibians & Early Reptiles

Obtaining air outside an aquatic environment required species to acquire suitable adaptations, and this was the case of ..

Birth Control and Contraception
Birth Control and Contraception

Different pregnancy and birth control and contraception strategies are described. Read this tutorial to learn each of th..

DNA carries genes coding for proteins
Genetic Information and Protein Synthesis

Genes are expressed through the process of protein synthesis. This elaborate tutorial provides an in-depth review of the..