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People thought gamma-interferon might have something to do with driving asthma's pathology, but there wasn't a whole lot of corroborating evidence," said Stephen Galli, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Pathology at Stanford medical school.
According to the researchers, gamma-interferon, a signaling molecule secreted by certain immune cells mobilizes the immune system to fight infectious pathogens or to attack healthy tissues, resulting in autoimmune diseases.
Hodgson, who manages the division's Vaccines and Therapeutics Program, says gamma-interferon is a member of the `cytokine' family of proteins which regulates the immune system in response to vaccination or disease.
Gamma-interferon, a disease-fighting protein, rises with laughter as do B-cells, which produce disease-destroying antibodies, and T-cells, which orchestrate the immune response.
The research team has produced genetically engineered chicken gamma-interferon and is testing its protective powers in live chickens.
When they administered gene-transporting adenoviruses into the lungs of mice, they also injected the animals with either interleukin-12 or gamma-interferon, two natural chemicals that the immune system uses to communicate between cells.
Two cytokines called gamma-interferon and IL-17, for example, tend to induce the kinds of inflammatory immune-system arousal that can trigger multiple sclerosis.
Life-threatening bacterial or fungal infections developed in only half as many gamma-interferon patients compared with placebo recipients, the team found.
The patent discusses a method of treatment that uses ReceptoPharm's lead drug candidate, RPI-78M, to induce gamma-interferon and interleukin-27 (IL-27).
But eight to 12 intravenous injections of liposomes, containing the macrophage activators gamma-interferon, muramyl tripeptide or both, saved 75 percent of Fidler's treated animals.
In other studies, the Company demonstrated that Betafectin treatment did not stimulate secretion of six inflammatory mediators, including interleukin (IL)-1alpha, IL-1beta, IL-6, IL-8, tumor necrosis factor-alpha and gamma-interferon.
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