Interleukin-1 animation

Interleukins are a group of cytokines (secreted signaling molecules) that were first seen to be expressed by white blood cells (leukocytes, hence the -leukin) as a means of communication (inter-). The name is something of a relic though (the term was coined by Dr. Paetkau, University of Victoria); it has since been found that interleukins are produced by a wide variety of bodily cells. The function of the immune system depends in a large part on interleukins, and rare deficiencies of a number of them have been described, all featuring autoimmune diseases or immune deficiency.

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