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Subject - Biochemistry, Immunology

Interleukins are cytokines formed by the cells of the immune system and are thus also classified as lymphokines (from lymphocytes) or monokines (from monocytes).

Interleukins are divided into various subgroups that are designated numerically (e.g. IL-1, IL-32). Each interleukin activates specific cells of the immune system (e.g. leukocytes) by triggering these cells to grow, mature, or divide. For example, IL-1 is made by macrophages and promotes inflammatory processes around cartilage. IL-2, in contrast, is released by malignant tumours. This interleukin promotes the production of T helper cells and has a positive effect on processes such as the maturation and differentiation of thymocytes, B lymphocytes, monocytes, macrophages, and NK cells.