Type I Interferons

  • Type I Interferons are a family of structurally and functionally related interferons secreted by a wide variety of cells in response to viral infections. The presence of these cytokines results in the synthesis of a wide variety of genes which are thought to possess intrinsic anti-viral activities. Furthermore, these cytokines cause cells to reduce their protein synthesis, which in consequence reduces viral replication. In addition to these local effects, Type I Interferons produce a number of systemic effects such as a feeling of malaise. Together, Type I Interferons are critical cytokines in generating a general anti-viral state in mammals.