Immunology

Cell death protein also damps inflammation

Inflammation is one strategy your body uses to fight infection, but if it gets out of control it can kill instead of heal. In the Sept. 18 issue of Immunity, UConn Health immunologist Vijay Rathinam and colleagues show how ...

Neuroscience

Fingolimod cuts multiple sclerosis relapses in pediatric patients

(HealthDay)—Among pediatric patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis, fingolimod is associated with a lower rate of relapse but a higher rate of serious adverse events than interferon beta-1a, according to a study published ...

HIV & AIDS

Scientists discover new way that HIV evades the immune system

Scientists have just discovered a new mechanism by which HIV evades the immune system, and which shows precisely how the virus avoids elimination. The new research shows that HIV targets and disables a pathway involving a ...

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Interferon

Interferons (IFNs) are proteins made and released by host cells in response to the presence of pathogens—such as viruses, bacteria, or parasites—or tumor cells. They allow communication between cells to trigger the protective defenses of the immune system that eradicate pathogens or tumors.

IFNs belong to the large class of glycoproteins known as cytokines. Interferons are named after their ability to "interfere" with viral replication within host cells. IFNs have other functions: they activate immune cells, such as natural killer cells and macrophages; they increase recognition of infection or tumor cells by up-regulating antigen presentation to T lymphocytes; and they increase the ability of uninfected host cells to resist new infection by virus. Certain host symptoms, such as aching muscles and fever, are related to the production of IFNs during infection.

About ten distinct IFNs have been identified in mammals; seven of these have been described for humans. They are typically divided among three IFN classes: Type I IFN, Type II IFN, and Type III IFN. IFNs belonging to all IFN classes are very important for fighting viral infections.

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