The last ten years have seen an explosive growth in our understanding of IFNγ. The cloning of the cDNAs for IFNγ and its receptor have made available large amounts of highly purified recombinant IFNγ and soluble IFNγ receptor. In addition, highly specific neutralizing monoclonal antibodies have been generated to both of these proteins. Using these reagents, IFNγ and the IFNγ receptor have been characterized on a molecular basis. Structure-function studies carried out on these proteins have identified key molecular regions that are required for biologic activity. Moreover, a great deal is now known concerning the physiologic role that IFNγ plays in vivo. In this review we focus on the new developments in the areas of IFNγ biochemistry and biology and pay particular attention to the IFNγ receptor and three aspects of IFNγ biology that are of special interest to immunologists: host defense, inflammation, and autoimmunity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571-611
Number of pages41
JournalAnnual Review of Immunology
StatePublished - 1993


  • IFNγ
  • IFNγ receptor
  • cytokine
  • host defense
  • inflammation


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