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RESEARCH : Immuno-Modulators

Immunomodulatory agents can inhibit or enhance immunity against micro-organisms, tumours, or transplanted organs, tissues and implants. Immunomodulatory activity is assessed using tissue culture based assays. Activity is manifested as either being cytomodulatory or secretory in nature. Therefore, cytomodulatory activity assessment entails detecting and quantifying changes in the expression of cell surface components, cell proliferation, cell differentiation, cell growth inhibition and programmed cell death. Secretory activity is assessed by detecting and quantifying changes in the production of autokines, cytokines and chemokines broadly associated with pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory pathways. The former favour development of active immune responses, e.g., against infections and tumours while the latter favour immunological tolerance, e.g., to transplanted organs or tissues.