Produced by activated macrophages, IL-1 stimulates thymocyte proliferation by inducing IL-2 release, B-cell maturation and proliferation, and fibroblast growth factor activity. IL-1 proteins are involved in the inflammatory response, being identified as endogenous pyrogens, and are reported to stimulate the release of prostaglandin and collagenase from synovial cells. The lack of a specific hydrophobic segment in the precursor sequence suggests that IL-1 is released by damaged cells or is secreted by a mechanism differing from that used for other secretory proteins.
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