Interferons (IFNs) are proteins produced by a variety of cells in the inflammatory response to infections.

Their production is triggered by the immune system in response to pathogens or cytokines.

Once triggered, they induce numerous molecular changes that affect cellular responses including cell growth and inflammation.

IFNs can play both pathological and beneficial roles in the nervous system.

Endogenous IFNs play a role in viral infections of the nervous system, and therapeutic use of IFNs is common in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, viral, autoimmune, and neoplastic conditions of the nervous system.

Interferons are a large family of related cytokines with ability to confer resistance to viral infections.

They are components of the innate arm of the immune system.

Type I IFN show the greatest diversity with over 20 family members.

Interferons likely play roles in modulating the immune function at the fetal–maternal interface and protecting the fetus against infection by maternal pathogens.

The use of standard interferon alpha-2b has been limited by its difficulty in administration and its adverse effect profile.

Pegylated interferons affect the half-life, volume of distribution, absorption of interferons.

Pegylated interferons allow for less frequent administration, leading to improve tolerability.

Interferons have preferential activity against  hematopoietic  stem cell clones,  with the induction of molecular responses and even remissions in hematological diseases such as   polycythemia vera  and essential thrombocytosis.

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