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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2008 Aug;11(4):378-83. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2008.05.015. Epub 2008 Jul 1.

Tumor necrosis factor and interferon: cytokines in harmony.

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Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA.


Individually, tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and the various interferons frequently display strong antiviral activities. Certain combinations of these cytokines, however, induce a synergistic antiviral state which is distinct from that induced by either one alone. This novel synergistic antiviral state likely occurs through several possible mechanisms, involves multiple signaling pathways, and inhibits a wider range of viruses than the individual cytokines alone. While underappreciated when first discovered, this synergistic phenomenon is proving to be of a much broader scope than initially thought. More work is needed to refine our understanding of this observation and its physiological implications for anti-pathogen responses.

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