Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Enhancing immune response

Recent scientific research has succeeded in isolating highly specific neuroimmunomodulatory factors coming from different tissues. This promising accomplishment is expected to significantly contribute to the development of new advanced drugs for the prevention of graft or transplant rejections and the control of autoimmune diseases.
Enhancing immune response
Employing two different biological systems, namely tissue cultures and rat hypothalamus researchers were able to isolate and partially characterise two important factors. Firstly, the immunosuppressive factors from peripheral human blood leukocytes and secondly the Luteinizing Hormone-Releasing Hormone (LH-RH) inhibiting factor from rat hypothalamus.

These molecules display similar physico-chemical characteristics and negative regulatory properties. Although their chemical structure was not fully specified, these molecules are potentially peptide-related and different from chalones, which are the responsible cells for regulating the size and population of cells. Hence, they may involve a new type of low-molecular- weight negative regulatory factors.

The isolated immunoregulins of low molecular weight feature specific antigen properties that allow the stimulation of antibodies production. These immunomodulatory factors play a key role in immunological adjustment, regulation or potentiation. By purifying near homogeneity, these immunosuppressive factors could be further used in pharmaceuticals for modifying or regulating immune functions.

More specifically, it was shown that these substances have great potential for further exploitation in cyclosporine compounds that are immunosuppressive drugs normally used to prevent the rejection of transplanted organs. They may also inhibit the production and receptor expression of interleukin-2 when treating lymphocyte cultures, which are both used in experimental cancer therapies.
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