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2437 pages added, reviewed or updated during the last month (last updated: 23/4/2021)


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interferon gamma

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Interferon gamma is distinct from interferon alpha and beta. It functions not so much as an antiviral, but as a signal between T-helper lymphocytes and mononuclear phagocytes.

It is a glycoprotein produced by:

  • T-helper lymphocytes: by far the biggest source
  • NK cells
  • CD8+ cells
  • mononuclear phagocytes

T-helper lymphocytes produce interferon gamma in response to interleukin-2 or antigen stimulation.

Its in vitro effects include:

  • production of an antiviral state
  • cytostatic for tumour cells
  • activation of mononuclear phagocytes:
    • superoxide anion production
    • phagocytosis
    • MHC class II expression
    • intracellular killing
  • activation of endothelial cells
  • pyretic
  • induction of acute phase response
  • increased class I and II MHC expression in a range of cells

Clinically, it is currently used for the treatment of chronic granulomatous disease.

Last reviewed 01/2018

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