interferon

noun

in·​ter·​fer·​on ˌin-tər-ˈfir-ˌän How to pronounce interferon (audio)
ˌin-tə-
: any of a group of heat-stable soluble basic antiviral glycoprotein cytokines of low molecular weight that are produced by cells exposed usually to the action of a virus, sometimes to the action of another intracellular parasite (such as a bacterium), or experimentally to the action of some chemicals

Examples of interferon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For example, the inflammatory E3 group for the most part didn’t respond to treatment with interferons, commonly used disease-modifying therapies first approved for MS in 1993. Isabella Cueto, STAT, 27 Mar. 2024 Sensing the fake virus, the cell responded by producing interferon lambda. Annie Melchor, WIRED, 7 Jan. 2024 Blocking interferons in mice stopped serotonin levels from dropping. Will Sullivan, Smithsonian Magazine, 18 Oct. 2023 Here’s the idea: Viral remnants prompt the immune system to produce infection-fighting proteins called interferons. Pam Belluck, New York Times, 16 Oct. 2023 This contributes to the overproduction of interferon receptors seen in those with Down syndrome. Joaquin Espinosa, The Conversation, 5 June 2023 Interferon lambda, on the other hand, is a type III interferon. Annie Melchor, WIRED, 7 Jan. 2024 Both interferon and certain cytokines have been found to be elevated in some long COVID patients. Carolyn Barber, Fortune, 23 Nov. 2023 While interferons do trigger a beneficial immune response against viral infections, chronic interferon hyperactivity could have detrimental effects. Joaquin Espinosa, The Conversation, 5 June 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'interferon.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

interfere + -on entry 2

First Known Use

1957, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of interferon was in 1957

Dictionary Entries Near interferon

Cite this Entry

“Interferon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/interferon. Accessed 30 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

interferon

noun
in·​ter·​fer·​on ˌint-ə(r)-ˈfi(ə)r-ˌän How to pronounce interferon (audio)
: any of a group of proteins produced by cells that keep viruses attacking the cells from multiplying

Medical Definition

interferon

noun
in·​ter·​fer·​on ˌint-ə(r)-ˈfi(ə)r-ˌän How to pronounce interferon (audio)
: any of a group of heat-stable soluble basic antiviral glycoproteins of low molecular weight that are produced usually by cells exposed to the action of a virus, sometimes to the action of another intracellular parasite (as a bacterium), or experimentally to the action of some chemicals, and that include some used medically as antiviral or antineoplastic agents see alpha interferon, beta interferon, gamma interferon

More from Merriam-Webster on interferon

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