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Any of various small proteins that are produced by a variety of cell types, especially T cells and other white blood cells, and that regulate many aspects of inflammation and the immune response, including stimulating the production of white blood cells and platelets.


(Biochemistry) a substance extracted from white blood cells that stimulates their activity against infection and may be used to combat some forms of cancer


(ˈɪn tərˌlu kɪn)
any of a family of small proteins that participate in the body's defense system, esp. by promoting the growth and activation of white blood cells.
[1979; inter- + leuk (ocyte) + -in1; so called because such proteins act as agents of communication between different populations of leukocytes]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.interleukin - any of several lymphokines that promote macrophages and killer T cells and B cells and other components of the immune system
lymphokine - a cytokine secreted by helper T cells in response to stimulation by antigens and that acts on other cells of the immune system (as by activating macrophages)
References in periodicals archive ?
Interleukins in Cancer Biology: Their Heterogeneous Role
The intrathymic environment is characterized by a complex network of paracrine, autocrine, and endocrine signals involving both interleukins and thymic peptides, which can be envisioned to operate in a synergistic network to carry the evolving T cell through its stepwise development to a mature T cell.
In a separate test of mice lacking various interleukins, some survived as well as normal mice.
Multikine (Leukocyte Interleukin, Injection) is an investigational immunotherapeutic agent consisting of a mixture of naturally occurring cytokines, including interleukins, interferons, chemokines and colony-stimulating factors, currently being developed for treatment of head and neck cancer.
Researchers have named the 15 known interleukins in the order in which they were discovered.
ZymoGenetics identified the novel cytokine family containing Interleukins 28A and 29 from human genomic sequence.
Membranes of these target cells possess docking sites, or receptors, for the appropriate interleukins.
Senesco's Executive Vice President of Research and Development, commented, "The correlation of Factor 5A to these potent interleukins suggests that the inflammation and apoptosis pathways in ischemia may be controlled via Factor 5A.
In a number of publications, Regeneron scientists reported a breakthrough in understanding how receptors work for an entire class of interleukins in the human body (e.
In a number of publications, Regeneron scientists made a breakthrough in understanding how receptors work for an entire class of interleukins in the human body (e.