Interferon-alpha

Interferon-alpha

(Science: cytokine) One of the type i interferons produced by peripheral blood leukocytes or lymphoblastoid cells when exposed to live or inactivated virus, double-stranded rna, or bacterial products.

It is the major interferon produced by virus-induced leukocyte cultures and, in addition to its pronounced antiviral activity, causes activation of nk cells. It is used experimentally in the treatment of hairy-cell leukaemia.

a number of different subtypes exist that are elaborated by leukocytes in response to viral infection or stimulation with double-stranded RNA; IFN-alpha-2A and -2B are protein products made by recombinant dna techniques and are used as antineoplastic agents.

See: interferon-alpha 2a, interferon-alpha 2b

Synonym: leukocyte interferon.

Pharmacological action: antineoplastic agent, antiviral agent.


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