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Heterogeneities of Human Interferons

  • William E. StewartII

Abstract

Interferon was discovered over 25 years ago by virologists who were looking for a soluble cell product that could transfer antiviral resistance from virus-infected cells to noninfected cells (Isaacs and Lindenmann, 1957). This closely linked inducer-action relationship (i.e., a virus-induced antiviral factor) moved the group of virologists who began studying the interferons to believe that these mediators were strictly and uniquely antiviral substances. Indeed, any suggestions that data showed otherwise [such as the early reports that interferons exerted cell-growth inhibition (Paucker et al., 1962)] were met with impassioned cries of heresy, with many investigators claiming that the true effect of interferon was antiviral and that all other actions measured were induced by impurities in the crude preparations (extensively reviewed by Stewart, 1981). The first convincing evidence of a “nonantiviral” action of interferon was reported over a decade ago (Stewart et al., 1971), but the concept that interferons were generally able to induce a variety of alterations in cells besides antiviral resistance was not palatable to most scientists until very recently, when, using homogeneously purified interferons from a variety of sources (including recombinant-derived forms) it was demonstrated that interferons per se are potent antivirals, cell-growth inhibitors, and immunomodulatory agents.

Keywords

Human Interferon Human Alpha Human Gamma Human IFNs Recombinant IFNs 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • William E. StewartII
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medical Microbiology and ImmunologyUniversity of South Florida College of MedicineTampaUSA

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