interleukin-5

Definition / meaning of interleukin-5

One of a group of related proteins made by leukocytes (white blood cells) and other cells in the body. Interleukin-5 is made mainly by some T lymphocytes. It causes B lymphocytes to make more antibodies and increases the number of eosinophils. Interleukin-5 made in the laboratory is used as a biological response modifier to boost the immune system in cancer therapy. It is a type of cytokine. Also called IL-5.

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Source(s):

The Web site of the National Cancer Institute (http://www.cancer.gov/)

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