- any of a closely related family of polypeptides, derived from many cell types, that stimulate several components of the inflammatory response, including fever; lymphocyte activating factor
- a glycoprotein lymphocyte product that stimulates the growth of T cells and is used experimentally in cancer therapy; T cell growth factor
See interleukin in American Heritage Dictionary 4
noun Abbr. IL-1
Either of two proteins, released by macrophages and other cells, that induce the production of interleukin-2 by helper T cells and stimulate the inflammatory response.
Origin: + Greek leukos, white; see leuko-
Origin: + -in
noun Abbr. IL-2
A lymphokine that is released by helper T cells in response to an antigen and interleukin-1 and stimulates the proliferation of helper T cells. It has been used experimentally to treat cancer.
noun Abbr. IL-3
A lymphokine, released by helper T cells in response to an antigen or mitogen, that stimulates the growth of blood stem cells and lymphoid cells such as macrophages and mast cells.
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