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Overview
  • Interferons are glycoproteins made by WBCs in response to pathogens
    • interferons are a type of cytokine
  • Mechanism 
    • "interfere" with viral DNA and RNA synthesis
    • induce ribonuclease activity to degrade viral mRNA
    • part of the innate (not the adaptive) immune response
  • Clinical use
    • interferons are produced endogenously, but are also given as drugs
      • interferon-α
        • HBV
        • HCV
        • Kaposi's sarcoma
      • interferon-β
        • multiple sclerosis
      • interferon-γ
        • chronic granulomatous disease
    • can cause neutropenia
 

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