The most famous of the cytokine are interleukins and the interferon’s, such as IL2 and gamma interferon, the other major cytokine group are the enkephalin and endorphins. The enkephalin and endorphins regulate not only the cells of the immune system but also the endocrine system keeping the two in balance. The balance is important to keeping the immune system healthy. Clinically, cytokines have been found to stimulate the immune system in the treatment of viral infections such as HIV/AIDS, hemorrhagic fever and hepatitis as well as a number of different types of cancer
The immune system is the bodies defensive system against infectious organisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites and most important – tumor cells. The immune system includes many different defense cells such as macrophages, T cells, Natural Killer (“NK”) cells, B cells and neutrophils. Cytokines are produced by the macrophages and the T cells and communicate with all of the cells in the immune system. T cells include a group of cells that are described as killer cells that destroy viruses and tumor cells.
Met-enkephalin, some times referred to as Opioid Growth Factor (OGF) have been studied by a number of scientists but the most published of these are Dr. Ian Zagon and his team from Pennsylvania State Medical Center at Hershey extensively in relationship to growth – especially in cancer and Dr. Nicholas Plotnikoff in conjunction with. Bihari and Dr. Ronald Herberman and Robert Good in the treatment of HIV/AIDS and cancer. Much of this research has been carried out in the USA, Belgium, Croatia and Germany.