Definition: A cytokine, derived primarily from mononuclear phagocytes, that enhances the proliferation of T-helper cells and the growth and differentiation of B cells. Il-1 induces the release of Il-2. When secreted in larger quantities, IL-1 is a mediator of inflammation, entering the bloodstream and causing fever, inducing synthesis of acute phase proteins, and initiating metabolic wasting. There are two distinct forms of IL-1:, a and ß, both of which perform the same functions but represent different proteins.
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