Interferon gamma (IFNγ) is a dimerized soluble cytokine that is the only member of the type II class of interferons.[5] The existence of this interferon, which early in its history was known as immune interferon, was described by E. F. Wheelock as a product of human leukocytes stimulated with phytohemagglutinin, and by others as a product of antigen-stimulated lymphocytes.[6] It was also shown to be produced in human lymphocytes.[7] or tuberculin-sensitized mouse peritoneal lymphocytes[8] challenged with Mantoux test (PPD); the resulting supernatants were shown to inhibit growth of vesicular stomatitis virus. Those reports also contained the basic observation underlying the now widely employed interferon gamma release assay used to test for tuberculosis. In humans, the IFNγ protein is encoded by the IFNG gene.[9][10]

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