Immunostimulators are substances (drugs and nutrients) that stimulate the
immune systemby inducing activation or increasing activity of any of its components. One notable example include granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor, commercially available under "Leukine" name.
There are two main categories of immunostimulators:
*Specific immunostimulators are those which provide antigenic specificity in immune response, such as
vaccines or any antigen.
*Non-specific immunostimulators are those which act irrespective of antigenic specificity to augment immune response of other antigen or stimulate components of the immune system without antigenic specificity, such as adjuvants and non-specific immunostimulators.
Many endogenous substances are non-specific immunostimulators. For example,
female sex hormonesare known to stimulate both adaptive [cite book | last = Wira | first = CR | coauthors = Crane-Godreau M, Grant K |year=2004 | chapter = Endocrine regulation of the mucosal immune system in the female reproductive tract |title=Mucosal Immunology | editor = In: Ogra PL, Mestecky J, Lamm ME, Strober W, McGhee JR, Bienenstock J (eds.) | publisher = Elsevier | location = San Francisco | id = ISBN 0124915434] and innate immune responses. [cite journal| last = Lang | first = TJ |year=2004 |title=Estrogen as an immunomodulator |journal=Clin Immunol |volume=113 |pages=224–230 |pmid=15507385 |doi=10.1016/j.clim.2004.05.011
cite journal | last = Moriyama | first = A | coauthors = Shimoya K, Ogata I "et al." |year=1999 |title=Secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI) concentrations in cervical mucus of women with normal menstrual cycle |journal=Molecular Human Reproduction |volume=5 |pages=656–661 |pmid=10381821 |url=http://molehr.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/5/7/656 |doi=10.1093/molehr/5.7.656
cite journal | last = Cutolo |first= M |coauthors= Sulli A, Capellino S, Villaggio B, Montagna P, Seriolo B, Straub RH|year=2004 |title=Sex hormones influence on the immune system: basic and clinical aspects in autoimmunity |journal=Lupus |volume=13 |pages=635–638 |pmid=15485092 |doi=10.1191/0961203304lu1094oa
cite journal | last = King | first = AE | coauthors = Critchley HOD, Kelly RW |year=2000 |title=Presence of secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor in human endometrium and first trimester decidua suggests an antibacterial role |journal=Molecular Human Reproduction |volume=6 |pages=191–196 |pmid=10655462 |url=http://molehr.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/6/2/191 |doi=10.1093/molehr/6.2.191] Some autoimmune diseases such as
lupus erythematosusstrike women preferentially, and their onset often coincides with puberty. Other hormones appear to regulate the immune system as well, most notably prolactin, growth hormoneand vitamin D. [cite journal | last = Dorshkind | first = K | coauthors = Horseman ND |year=2000 |title=The Roles of Prolactin, Growth Hormone, Insulin-Like Growth Factor-I, and Thyroid Hormones in Lymphocyte Development and Function: Insights from Genetic Models of Hormones and Hormone Receptor Deficiency | url=http://edrv.endojournals.org/cgi/content/full/21/3/292?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&author1=Dorshkind%2C+K%3B+Horseman+ND+&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&sortspec=relevance&resourcetype=HWCIT|journal=Endocrine Reviews |volume=21 |pages=292–312|pmid=10857555 |doi=10.1210/er.21.3.292] [cite journal | last =Nagpal | first = Sunil |coauthors = Songqing Naand and Radhakrishnan Rathnachalam |year=2005|title=Noncalcemic Actions of Vitamin D Receptor Ligands | url= http://edrv.endojournals.org/cgi/content/full/26/5/662 |journal=Endocrine Reviews |volume=26| issue= 5|pages=662–687|pmid=15798098|doi=10.1210/er.2004-0002.]
Examples of Immunostimulator drugs
Macrokine, stimulator of macrophages
* [http://ees.elsevier.com/vetimm/ Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology journal]
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