Cytokines, Chemokines and Interferons

  • Susanne ModrowEmail author
  • Dietrich Falke
  • Uwe Truyen
  • Hermann Schätzl
Reference work entry


In 1935, M. Hoskins, G.M. Findlay and F. MacCallum discovered the phenomenon of interference: animals that were inoculated with avirulent yellow fever viruses were found to be protected against infections with the wild-type virus in the following 24 h. The cause of interference remained unclear for a long time until Alick Isaacs and Jean Lindenmann discovered the substance interferon in infected embryonated chicken eggs in 1957. Initially, it was thought that the defence mechanism mediated by interferon was directed against “foreign nucleic acids”, since interferon could effectively be induced by the double-stranded RNA of reoviruses. However, this effect was not very selective. It soon became apparent that even uninfected cells are affected by interferon and that the administration of interferon to animals can provoke serious adverse side effects. In addition, it also became evident that there is a basal interferon concentration in the organism which is physiologically determined and is sustained by frequent viral infections. Interferons exert many functions in the cell, and fulfil important functions in regulating cell physiological processes.


Antiviral Effect Oligoadenylate Synthetase CX3C Chemokines Foreign Nucleic Acid Tumour Necrosis Factor Ligand Superfamily 
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Further Reading

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susanne Modrow
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dietrich Falke
    • 2
  • Uwe Truyen
    • 3
  • Hermann Schätzl
    • 4
  1. 1.Inst. Medizinische, Mikrobiologie und HygieneUniversität RegensburgRegensburgGermany
  2. 2.MainzGermany
  3. 3.Veterinärmedizinische Fak., Inst. Tierhygiene undUniversität LeipzigLeipzigGermany
  4. 4.Helmholtz Zentrum München, Institut für VirologieTU MünchenMunichGermany

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