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The following materials need to be organized:

All materials from: IFN-alpha IFN-beta IFN-beta-2 IFN-delta IFN-kappa IFN-omega IFN-gamma (talk) 02:44, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Hello, Please add more information about INF-alpha's pyrogenic role after bacteria infection. Thank you!! All I know is that it acts on the hypothalamus.

Howdy! I reworked your interferon page quite a bit. I don't want to bitch about short articles, but for a lot of these biology articles, specificity is pretty important :) Anyway, its more specific now... there's still plenty more to put in about interferon structure, differences between species, Th1 and Th2 responses, etc. -Dlamming

Hi! I redid the first paragraph and updated with current information on interferons and their receptors -eviltwin

Does anyone have any knowledge about administrating both Interferon alpha and beta (concurrently) to treat a patient who suffers from both Hepatitis C and Multiple Sclerosis???? -User:physician question

Chicken bones[edit]

I wish to extract interferon from chicken bones and I am wondering if the broth containing the interferon can be frozen without inactivating the interferon. In other words, I want to stockpile some "Jewish penicillin" against the possibility of catching the flu, but don't want to bother if it will not contain active interferon after freezing. Can someone enlighten me about this, please?

Interferon is not present in significant quantities in bone. It is a small peptide mainly found in blood and extracellular fluid and produced by certain leukocyte subsets and other specialised tissues. Why are you concerned about the freezing? Is your grandma's freezer bursting with frozen chicken soup? JFW | T@lk 21:51, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

I cant comment about whats in bone, but i can tell you that if its like most biological proteins, and i have no reason to believe it is not, then you'll destroy more interferon by boiling it than you will freezing it. Make sure your freezer is -20centigrade/celsius for decent storage conditions. Chances are the benefits come from side chain biochemicals anyway like sialic acid biochemical residues as these are less likely to be changed by boiling. How long do you boil it for anywhich? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mythole (talkcontribs) 05:31, 27 January 2011 (UTC)


I have added a section about the discovery of the interferon. It was going to be a complete 'brief history' talking about the work of Kari Cantell etc. in the 1960's and how isolation methods improved over the decades, but I think i'll try and add to it in time.--Shastrix 19:19, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

Alfa and Beta Interferons[edit]

I have a question concerning medicines used to treat multiple sclerosis--particularly inteferons--and those used to treat chronic hepatitis C.

A few years back, I underwent therapy consisting of injections of pegalated alfa 2b interferon and ribaviron to treat hepatitis C. I feel blessed; my therapy was a success and I haven't felt better in years! They say I could be in remission for the rest of my life (I'm 50 years old).

Unfortunately, the side-effects of the treatment were not so kind to me; I even had to quit work for four months. My sister (while being treated with interferons for MS) suffered little or no side-effects while being treated for her MS.

So often people ask the question, "Aren't the medications for both illnesses the same, and if so, why did you suffer so severely on alfa 2b (pegalated version)while your sister's side effects on beta have been so minimal?"

So, are both the meds(interferons) for MS and HCV basically the same?

I'd like to be able to supply an answer once and for all; because, frankly, I'm getting a little tired of the question?


--Debbie122756 18:10, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

PS. A professional opinion would be welcomed.

Though I am not a doctor, I am a researcher working in the interferon field. IFN-Beta for MS and IFN-alpha for HCV are both interferons but they are not the same. For instance IFN-alpha has been tried for MS and did not help, and IFN-beta has not proven useful, to date, for cancer and viral diseases. Hence there are some fundamental differences between the two drugs. There are also differences between patients in how well they tolerate the drugs, some are highly sensitive to the side effects, while others are much less sensitive.

Best, Proteinman 12:20, 19 August 2007 (UTC)


Hi. I highly doubt that "whilst", which appears 3 times in the "Discovery" section would qualify for common english to be used in wikipedia!  ;) I suggest someone with a better mastery of english that I posses to change this to equivalent expressions.

Cheers hello, I would like to know if anyone knows about using interferon with bcg to help prevent bladder cancer reoccurance. Thanks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:30, 21 June 2010 (UTC)

Whilst corrections.[edit]

I changed the 3 whilst's. I couldn't resist. It's like listening to my otherwise articulate weatherman use the word "acrost" instead of across. Elizabeth Macy.

As the original writer of the 'discovery' section I was somewhat bemused by your comments. Yes the frequency at which the 'whilst' appeared was perhaps a little high, but as far as I'm aware there is nothing incorrect about its usage. A little search on the Internet revealed: "Both while and whilst are ancient, though while is older. There’s no difference in meaning between them. For reasons that aren’t clear, whilst has survived in British English but has died out in the US. However, in Britain it is considered to be a more formal and literary word than its counterpart."
Is there something that my 17 years of English education has missed? I'm guessing that we merely have an Atlantic disparity here. Whilst I prefer the original two instances of the word, I must concede that 'meanwhile' is more suited in the final case. If this really is an issue, perhaps it would be worth mentioning on the American_and_British_English_spelling_differences page; it is certainly news to me. 0_o --Shastrix 23:02, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
Seeing as the language is called "English", I would have to say that the language as spoken in "England" would be more accurate and correct than anywhere else. The use of "whilst" is perfectly valid in English. US English is not true English, it is a hybrid of the language. True English definitions will always override it, especially in formal documents such as this. It is my opinion that all English Wiki articles should be scanned and US spellings/terms removed and replaced with true English ones. Although edits made changing "whilst" to "while" or "meanwhile" would still be correct in terms of true English definition, the edits were totally unnecessary and reflected personal preference rather than grammatical correctness. (talk) 17:45, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

Viral Induction of Interferons:[edit]

This section has a few major problems. I don't have time to re-write it properly at the moment but I'll come back in a week or two. I'll sketch out my concerns here but I'm in the middle of another big project at the momentand don;t have time to properly hunt for references.


"The dsRNA acts like a trigger for the production of interferon (via Toll Like Receptor 3 (TLR 3) a pattern recognition receptor of the innate immune system which leads to activation of the transcription factor IRF3 and late phase NF kappa Beta)." Broadly correct, but incomplete. TLR3 is able to sense dsRNA and induce IFN production but it is by no means uniue in this respect. RIGi, MDA5 and PKR all play similar roles in detecting dsRNA. This article correctly mentions IRF3 but IRF7 also plays a role.

"However, these cells have received interferon, which essentially warns these other cells that there's a wolf in the pack of sheep. They then start producing large amounts of a protein known as protein kinase R (or PKR). If a virus chooses to infect a cells that has been “pre-warned” by interferon, it is like charging into a hail of bullets for the virus."

The slightly weird writing style aside (maybe I've got too used to the dry style of scientific papers), I see two problems here. Firstly, IFN stimulation initiates a lot of changes within cells. This does include upregulation of PKR but there's a lot of other stuff going on as well. I'll go into detail when I have time to re-write. Secondly, implying that the virus "chooses to infect a cell" seems misleading: viruses are so simple that most virologists I know would hesitate to say that they're technically living things so to imply they're capable of choice is ludicrous.

in terms of the comment about virus not being living and therefore not being capable of making choices, this is far from agreed and calling someone elses comment ludicrous strikes me as against the regulations; unless you think you can succesfully argue that viruses are not controlled by dark matter for example i think you should retract. smsssshihsG (talk) 05:17, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

"The PKR is indirectly activated by the dsRNA (actually by 2'-5' oligoadenylate produced by the 2'-5' oligoadenylate-synthetase which is produced due to TLR3 activation), and begins transferring phosphate groups (phosphorylating) to a protein known as eIF2, a eukaryotic translation initiation factor."

This is just plain wrong. PKR binds dsRNA directly and is phosphorylated (either through dimerisation or autophosphorylation - the last I heard this was still controversial) which leads to activation. As stated here 2'5'-oas is a dsRNA-activated enzyme which churns out 2'5'-oa. However, 2'5'-oa is actually the activiating agent for RNAseL, which degrades mRNA molecules within the cell, acting as a secondary shuoff for translation. In short, the PKR and 2'5'-oas pathways are both upregulated by IFN and activated by dsRNA but don't interact. See this article:

[Another handy reference for this is - I too found the content in this section confusing and contradictory.... and you appear to be correct, the result of 2'5'-oas synthesis(?) is the production of RNAse L, not PKR.] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:47, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

in terms of the comment about virus not being living and therefore not being capable of making choices, this is far from agreed and calling someone elses comment ludicrous strikes me as against the regulations; unless you think you can succesfully argue that viruses are not controlled by dark matter for example i think you should retract. smsssshihsG (talk) 05:23, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

remember to sign your posts!!!! smsssshihsG (talk) 05:23, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

...there are a few other trivial bits I'd like to tidy up but those were my main objections. Sorry to criticise and run but I'll be back shortly to submit an updated and properly cited version. Actually, what's the policy for citations here? Most of my sources are scientific papers, many of which are only accessable with a subscription, Athens account or via a good library. Are these still acceptable given that many people will have trouble getting at them? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 11:58, 21 March 2007 (UTC).

of course they are acceptable, but perhaps wikipedia should develop a reference section hierarchy, indeed i think this is a requirement for the next phase of wikipedia; there should be , for example , GCSE level, A-level, degree level and research level within each topic, so too with the references, and warnings as to the difficulty level for both understanding concepts terminology and obtaining and reading references. You wouldnt invite your kids to a labmeeting, but thats whats going on in wikipedia. smsssshihsG (talk) 05:19, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

Viral Resistance to Interferon[edit]

The beginning of this section has some kind of typo or something; you can't infect interferon molecules with any kind of virus. It's pretty clear what must have been meant, but I am not 100% certain I know, so I didn't just fix it.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

I checked out the associated reference and changed the text to reflect what it said -- may have to come back and copyedit this section though -- phew! Thanks for pointing out the error!! ~ Ciar ~ (Talk) 19:06, 11 September 2009 (UTC)


I always heard that high fever was necessary for the production of interferon by the body; is this fact or myth? Albmont 20:10, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Myth. Interferons are almost certainly produced in small quantities every day. It might be true that old-style bioassays for interferon in the bloodstream would have been positive only with a condition that causes fever, but that's a technological rather than biological restriction.Scray (talk) 03:37, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Pegetron (Canada only combination) vs Pegintron monotherapy (everywhere)[edit]

Pegetron is the name in Canada for a combination drug that gives you both Pegintron and ribavirin in the same handy package. It is not the same as just pegylated interferon by itself. See this page for some more information. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:38, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

Many meds can be co-formulated. Pegylated interferons are almost never used alone (they are inferior to combination therapy). I suppose we should re-format the list, starting with generic names and provide a place for editors from each country list the sundry trade names. Scray (talk) 02:16, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
I've taken a shot at the table. We could add columns for manufacturer, etc. We could also add other combinations like Rebetron (interferon alpha 2b plus ribavirin) but I think we could just avoid the combinations altogether - this is an interferon page. I left Pegetron in there to avoid any appearance of an edit war. Scray (talk) 02:38, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
Actually, I think that listing the combinations here is an excellent idea, and helpful to the reader, especially if combinations are more likely to be used. (Presumably your experience is limited to Hep C, and not MS or leukemia?) WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:39, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm not aware of the use of peginterferons for MS or leukemia other than in clinical trials. Are they "in the market" (the page section we're discussing)? Scray (talk) 00:31, 26 July 2008 (UTC)
The very first approved indication for any interferon -- ever -- was for Hairy cell leukemia. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:55, 26 July 2008 (UTC)
Yes, but note that I said "peginterferons"? Scray (talk) 22:51, 2 August 2008 (UTC)
As far as I know, it isn't an approved use, but it is being prescribed off-label in a few cases (not counting the many clinical trials). WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:09, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

Pharmaceutical forms of interferons in the market[edit]

It is not appropriate to simply replace Intron A with Reliferon, when the former has been licensed for at least 17 years (see "History of HepC". ), whereas the latter has been licensed in India less than 2 years as far as I can tell (see "Genetic Engineering Approval Committee minutes of 13 Jan 2006". ). If there are more reliable sources to the contrary then please cite them. --Scray (talk) 02:17, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Interferon Tau?[edit]

I just stumbled upon the orphan article interferon tau. Should this be included in the general interferon article? What I find odd about interferon tau is that it seems to have nothing to do with antiviral defense. Is this just a cytokine that was given a bad name by cattle scientists, or where is the connection to the broader group of interferons? Hope someone can help here, I was unable to find any references about the naming. Perhaps I should ask this at the reference desk, too. TheMaster17 (talk) 07:37, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

IFN-tau is structurally related to other type I interferons and does have antiviral properties [1] in addition to its role in pregnancy. I'd say, its position in the IFN type I family place it well in this main article, regardless of its dominant role.~ Ciar ~ (Talk)

Suggest NutriFeron (herbal supplement) claims be removed[edit]

I do not believe the following text is scientifically supported and suggest it be removed in the next round of edits. None of the studies cited specifically measured interferon levels.

"After his work on the discovery of interferon, Dr. Kojima conducted extensive research on the development of a natural substance that could stimulate the human body's production of interferon. After 40 years he developed Kampo Formula EH0202 (tradename: NutriFeron) and sold the worldwide rights to Shaklee Corporation of the USA. To date, EH0202 is the only known natural formula to successfully stimulate the human body to produce interferon. Shaklee funded several research projects with Kampo Formula EH0202 and found that it was effective in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C [49], that it stimulated the immune system and it’s production of natural interferon, [50], and that it also reduced menopause-related symptoms. [51] NutriFeron by Shaklee is the only herbal product available that has documented the ability to stimulate natural interferon production." (talk) 14:17, 7 December 2011 (UTC)krowan


I erased a part on the Function paragraph that was biased, out of topic and not essential. It stated that: Interferon a 2b is also being used for tretment of Ocular surface squamous cell Neoplasia (OSSCN) in the form of perilesional injection followed by topical interferon a 2b drops (LAHORE GENERAL HOSPITAL , Eye unit II) — Preceding unsigned comment added by GioeleLM (talkcontribs) 15:27, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

GioeleLM —Preceding undated comment added 15:29, 29 December 2011 (UTC).

History section[edit]

There are some problems in the History section. The purification of the alpha interferons was primarily done in the laboratory of Sidney Pestka. While Alan Waldman appears on several of those papers, it is not true that the work was done in the laboratories of Sidney Pestka and Alan Waldman. Pestka's principle collaborator was Dr. Menahem Rubinstein, who brought HPLC to bear on the problem of protein purification. Rubinstein is first author on several of the key papers from Pestka's lab.

A second issue is the need for a clarification about interferon gamma, "Type II interferon". Although it has some antiviral activity in tissue culture experiments, and was therefore classified as an "interferon", it isn't clear that its antiviral activity is very important in whole animals. While there is some increased susceptibility to some viruses in mouse gamma receptor or IFN-gamma knockouts, the effect is nowhere near the level seen in IFNAR1 or IFNAR2 knockouts. Humans deficient in the interferon gamma receptor <PMID:15661020> have not yet been reported to have increased susceptibility to viruses, but show, for instance, increased susceptibility to mycobacterial infections and defects in Th1 response<PMID:10556835><PMID:9705383>. Rather, interferon gamma/type II interferon is more properly considered a cytokine involved in innate immunity in roles such as activation of macrophages, and in adaptive immunity in the biasing of the T cell response.

I'm new to Wikipedia commenting, so not sure how these things will be corrected or clarified.Jalangnj (talk) 17:35, 23 April 2013 (UTC)Jalangnj

If you could locate one or more reliable sources (ideally, chapters in high-quality textbooks or review articles in high-quality journals) that support your changes (i.e. that outweigh any evidence supporting the current version), then it will be no problem to set the record straight. This Talk page is a great place to discuss changes like this. -- Scray (talk) 23:16, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

herbs studied by the discoverer dr. kojima[edit]

it seems he is interested in increasing interferon naturally — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:13, 17 September 2013 (UTC)

Problematic sections in Wikipedia's INTERFERON entry[edit]

I have copied sections with problems and inserted my comments below.

Interferon therapy Diseases The immunomodulatory effects of interferons have been exploited to treat several diseases. Agents that activate the immune system, such as small imidazoquinoline molecules that activate TLR7, can induce IFN-α. Imidazoquinoline is the main ingredient of Aldara (Imiquimod) cream, a treatment approved in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for actinic keratosis, superficial basal cell carcinoma, papilloma and external genital warts.[21] Synthetic IFNs are also made, and administered as antiviral, antiseptic and anticarcinogenic drugs, and to treat some autoimmune diseases. New research has shown that imiquimod's anti-proliferative effect is totally independent of immune system activation or function. Imiquimod exerts its effect by increasing levels of the opioid growth factor receptor (OGFr). Blocking OGFr function with siRNA technology resulted in loss of any antiproliferative effect of imiquimod.[22]

Comment: The preceding two paragraphs are essentially advertising of a commercial product. Imiquimod is an insignificant therapeutic drug, which is rarely used. Reference 22 is twenty-six years old, certainly no longer “a current perspective”. I suggest deleting these two paragraphs and accompanying references. They need not be replaced.

Interferon therapy is used (in combination with chemotherapy and radiation) as a treatment for many cancers.[21] This treatment is most effective for treating hematological malignancy; leukemia and lymphomas including hairy cell leukemia, chronic myeloid leukemia, nodular lymphoma, cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.[21] Patients with recurrent melanomas receive recombinant IFN-α2b.[24] Type I IFNs have a therapeutic potential for the treatment of a wide variety of leukemias and solid tumors due to their antiproliferative and apoptotic effects, their anti-angiogenic effects and their ability to modulate an immune response specifically activating dendritic cells, cytolytic T cells and NK cells. Research in this area is receiving intensive investigation.[25]

Comment: This paragraph is misleading. Interferon therapy is not widely “used as a treatment for many cancers”. Reference 21 is not to an article about cancer, perhaps it should have been 22, which, as I mentioned in the previous section, is very old and not appropriate. The rest of the text is also outdated, exaggerated and incorrect. Can be deleted.

Administered intranasally in very low doses, interferon is extensively used in Eastern Europe and Russia as a method to prevent and treat viral respiratory diseases such as cold and flu. However, mechanisms of such action of interferon are not well understood; it is thought that doses must be larger by several orders of magnitude to have any effect on the virus. Although most scientists are skeptical of any claims of good efficacy,[31] recent findings suggest that interferon applied to mucosa may act as an adjuvant against influenza virus, boosting the specific immune system response against the virus.[30] A flu vaccine that uses interferon as adjuvant is currently under clinical trials in the US.[32] Alpha interferon exhibited a significant adjuvant effect in mice, but in a preliminary study it did not exhibit an adjuvant effect for induction of antibody in respiratory secretions of humans to inactivated influenza virus vaccine given intranasally.[33]

A systematic review studied the effect of interferon as a treatment for individuals suffering from herpes simplex virus epithelial keratitis. Topical interferon therapy was shown to be an effective treatment, especially with higher concentrations.[33] Interferon, either used alone or in combination with debridement, appears to be effective as a nucleoside antiviral agent.[33] The combination of interferon and another nucleoside antiviral agent may speed the healing process.[33]

Comment: Interferon is no longer administered intranasally, not even ”in Eastern Europe”. It is not used for herpes simplex virus epithelial keratitis. References 31-37 should be deleted, they are outdated or inappropriate. Need new critical paragraph on currently approved and used therapeutic applications.

It took another fifteen to twenty years, using somatic cell genetics, to show that the interferon action gene and interferon gene reside in different human chromosomes.[45][46][47] The purification of human beta interferon did not occur until 1977. Chris Y.H. Tan and his co-workers purified and produced biologically active, radio-labeled human beta interferon by superinducing the interferon gene in fibroblast cells, and they showed its active site contains tyrosine residues.[48][49] Tan's laboratory isolated sufficient enough amounts of human beta interferon to perform its first amino acid, sugar composition and N-terminal analyses.[50] They showed that human beta interferon was an unusually hydrophobic glycoprotein. This explained a large loss of interferon activity when interferon preparations were transferred from test tube to test tube or from vessel to vessel during purification. The analyses ascertained once and for all, the reality of interferon activity by chemical verification.[50][51][52][53] The purification of human alpha interferon was not reported until 1978. A series of publications from the laboratories of Sidney Pestka and Alan Waldman between 1978 and 1981, describe the purification of the type I interferons IFN-α and IFN-β.[54] By the early 1980s, the genes for these interferons were cloned, allowing for further definitive proof that interferons really were responsible for interfering with viral replication.[55][56] Gene cloning also confirmed that IFN-α was encoded by, not one gene, but a family of related genes.[57] The type II IFN (IFN-γ) gene was also isolated around this time.[58] Interferon was scarce and expensive until 1980, when the interferon gene was inserted into bacteria using recombinant DNA technology, allowing mass cultivation and purification from bacterial cultures[59] or derived from yeast (e.g. Reiferon Retard is the first yeast derived interferon-alpha 2a) Interferon can also be derived from recombinant mammalian cells.[60] Before this, in the early 1970s the large scale reproduction of human interferon was pioneered by Kari Cantell. He produced large amounts of human alpha interferon from massive quantities of human white blood cells collected from and by the Finnish Blood Bank.[61]Large amounts of human beta interferon were made by superinducing the beta interferon gene in human fibroblast cells, a procedure Chris Y.H.Tan discovered with Monto Ho.[62][63] Cantell's and Tan's methods of making large amounts of natural interferons were critical to make purified interferons for their chemical characterisation,for their clinical trials and for the preparations of the scarce amount of interferon messenger RNAs to the clone the human alpha and beta interferon genes. The superinduced human beta interferon messenger RNA was prepared by Tan's lab for Cetus corp. to clone the human beta interferon gene into bacteria and the recombinant interferon was developed as 'betaseron' and approved for the treatment of MS. Superinduction of the human beta interferon gene was also used by Israeli scientists to manufacture human beta interferon, used as a topical anti-herpes agent.

Comment: These paragraphs contain numerous factual errors, and there are too many references to the work of Y.H. Tan at the expense of the work of other scientists working in the field. There is advertising to an insignificant product “Reiferon Retard”. The first paragraph refers to work by Sidney Pestka, which is appropriate, but it also mentions Alan Waldman, who was not involved in this work. Some of the wording is overly simplistic (“Interferon was scarce and expensive until 1980, when the interferon gene was inserted into bacteria using recombinant DNA technology, allowing mass cultivation and purification from bacterial cultures”). A complete rewriting of these paragraphs is in order.Kalos01 (talk) 02:45, 18 July 2014 (UTC)