Medicine & USMLE

IFN-alpha and IFN-beta

  1. TNF-alpha
  2. IL-1
  3. IL-2
  4. IL-3
  5. IL-4
  6. IL-5
  7. IL-6
  8. IL-8
  9. IL-10
  10. IL-12
  11. TGF-beta
  12. IFN-alpha and IFN-beta
  13. IFN-gamma


Interferons alpha and beta (IFN-α / IFN-β), also known as type 1 interferons,, are important cytokines in the antiviral immune response. IFN-alpha and beta are released by virally-infected cells and act to slow viral replication by blocking viral protein synthesis.

Key Points

  • Interferons alpha and beta (IFN-alpha / IFN-beta)
    • Also known as type 1 interferons
    • Produced by leukocytes and virally-infected cells
    • Slows viral replication by halting protein synthesis
      • Degrades mRNA in virally-infected cells
      • Type 1 interferons may be used as treatment in viral infections (e.g. hepatitis C)