Interleukin-2

A type of interleukin, a chemical messenger, a substance that can improve the body’s response to disease. It stimulates the growth of certain disease-fighting blood cells in the immune system. Also called IL-2.
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A cytokine derived from T helper lymphocytes that causes proliferation of T lymphocytes and activated B lymphocytes.

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interleukin-2 -'tü n an interleukin produced by antigen-stimulated helper T cells in the presence of interleukin-1 that induces proliferation of immune cells (as T cells and B cells) and has been used experimentally esp. in treating certain cancers abbr. IL-2

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(IL-2) an interleukin produced by T cells in response to antigenic or mitogenic stimulation, acting to regulate the immune response. It stimulates the proliferation of T cells and the synthesis of other T cell–derived cytokines, stimulates the growth and cytolytic function of NK cells to produce lymphokine-activated killer cells, is a growth factor for and stimulates antibody synthesis in B cells, and may promote apoptosis in antigen-activated T cells. IL-2 is used as an anticancer drug in the treatment of a wide variety of solid malignant tumors. Formerly called T-cell growth factor.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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