PRPs have the unique ability to modulate the immune system, increasing its activity level in the case of a challenge, such as an infection or a wound, and decreasing its activity level when the challenge is controlled. When an infection is detected by scout immune cells, chemical signals go out to mobilize other cells to come to the defense and fight off the infection. PRPs are one of the primary signals to go out at this time. And later, when the infection has been contained, PRPs are again one of the primary signals to call down the inflammatory response to the infection.
Thymocytes — lymphocytes which develop in the thymus gland in the neck — have PRP receptors on their surface membranes. These thymocytes are stimulated by PRPs to either differentiate into helper T cells, which are part of the inflammatory response to infection, or suppressor T cells which inhibit the inflammatory response (Figure 1). PRPs regulate the differentiation and maturation of monocytes and macrophages, cells normally found in the bloodstream and connective tissue which are involved inflammation. PRPs also induce resting B lymphocytes — lymphocytes that develop in the bone marrow — to differentiate and form mature B cells. B cells are the only cells which produce immunoglobulins (antibodies). PRPs regulate the production of various cytokines, which are signaling molecules that regulate the immune response. These include IL-6 (interleukin-6), IL-10, INFg (gamma interferon) and TNF-a (tumor necrosis factor-alpha). This is one of the ways in which PRPs regulate the inflammatory response to infection. Both IL-6 and IL-10 are anti-inflammatory cytokines, but TNF-a is the main cytokine controlling the entire inflammatory cascade of cytokines. INF-g is an inflammatory cytokine as well. It is particularly effective against viruses as it interferes with the genetic ability of viruses to replicate.
PRPs are generally characterized by PRP1, PRP2, PRP3, and to a lesser level PRP4 and PRP5. PRP1 is the inactive non-protein nitrogen component, PRP2 and PRP3 are most active. PRP2 are thought to contain active peptides that are used to modulate cytokine levels in the body, particularly IFN-beta or beta-interferon, which also have anti-viral properties. PRP3a and PRP3b contain active peptides that modulate the IFN-alpha cytokine levels in the body which is used in modulating auto-immune responses. Learn more about amino-acid sequences and structures of colostrum peptides (PRPs).
The inflammatory response consists of a complex series of events in which the body mobilizes its defenses to the site of the infection. PRPs are involved in that mobilization effort as well as controlling the production of immune proteins by immune cells. PRPs stimulate the production of leukocytes (white blood cells) which are a principal component of the inflammatory response. PRPs increase the permeability of the blood vessels in the skin allowing immune cells and antibodies to enter the tissue space to fight off the infection. PRPs stimulate natural killer (NK) cells, which are a specialized type of hunter-killer lymphocytes. They are the first responders in case of an infection and will attack and destroy anything they encounter that is not identified as "self."
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.