are small natural proteins produced by the cells of the immune system of most vertebrates in response to challenges by foreign agents such as viruses, parasites, and tumor cells.
Interferons belong to the large class of glycoproteins known as cytokines.
Interferons are produced by a wide variety of cells in response to the presence of double-stranded RNA and various antigens, a key indicator of viral infection.
Interferons assist the immune response by inhibiting viral replication within host cells, activating natural killer cells and macrophages, increasing antigen presentation to lymphocytes, and inducing the resistance of host cells to viral infection
When the antigen is presented to matching T and B cells, they multiply and strategically and specifically wipe out that particular foreign substance.
Inhibit expression of cancer genes