Immune Selective Anti-inflammatory Derivatives (ImSAIDS)

Immune Selective Anti-inflammatory Derivatives (ImSAIDS) is one of three classes of anti-inflammatories that are designed to reduce both pain and inflammation, related to injuries or arthritis. ImSAIDS are a new generation of anti-inflammatories that inhibit the inflammatory processes by affecting different chemicals. With non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, the drugs block the action of the cyclooxygenase (COX) enzyme, which makes prostaglandins, which initiate the inflammatory process. With steroidal anti-inflammatories, inflammation is inhibited when the drugs bind to glucocorticoid receptors, which reduces immune function.

Immune Selective Anti-inflammatory Derivatives (ImSAIDS) work differently than both of these earlier generation pain and inflammation pharmaceuticals.

ImSAIDS we first discovered by medical research scientists looking at the biological functions of chemicals released by our saliva and submandibular gland. As scientists began cataloging all the functions of the different chemicals released by this gland, they identified several that played a role in immune system functioning. This gland released several factors which regulated immune and inflammatory reactions. One important factor that was identified was submandibular gland peptide-T (SGP-T). This factor is often released by the gland in response to the presence of endotoxins in the body. Endotoxins are toxins released by bacteria that have infiltrated the body.

Today, we know that several body systems play roles independently and together in controlling inflammation or modulating inflammation, including the endocrine, nervous, and immune systems. Inflammation, when initiated, has the important roles of removing toxins from the site of injury and repairing the tissues that have been damaged. Upon neuronal stimulation from sympathetic nerves, certain immune regulating peptides are released by the submandibular gland. The pathway upon which these immune regulating peptides are produced is known as the as the cervical sympathetic trunk-submandibular gland (CST-SMG) axis. This level of activity in this axis may affect the inflammatory response to a variety of physical factors, including injuries and diseases that may cause tissue damage in the body.

ImSAIDs are synthetically derived chemicals that may have an effect on the systemic control of inflammation. Certain molecules on the surfaces of white blood cells (leukocytes) have receptor areas other chemicals can bond to, which may have the effect of inhibiting a strong immune response. These molecules include feG and related peptides. These molecules attach to binding sites on the leukocytes and inhibit excessive activation and tissue filtration. FeG is one type of ImSAID.

ImSAIDs are still in the research and development phase, in terms of their use on humans today. This new class of anti-inflammatories is currently being researched for their future use on humans, though they are already being used on animals today. The ImSAID that has shown the most promise in fighting inflammation is the tripeptide phenylalanine-glutamate-glycine in its D-isomeric form (feG.) FeG has been shown to affect the activation and migration capability of neutrophils. Neutrophils are the first white blood cells to migrate to tissues that have become injured. These white blood cells swallow and break down bacteria, as well as other chemicals that are cleaned from the site of tissue damage, following an injury.

Though the inflammatory process is often a healthy and necessary response by the body to the presence of toxins and tissues in need of repair, this process may also result in oxidative damage and free radical production. These metabolic by-products of inflammatory metabolism may lead to pain and an acceleration of the aging process, resulting in short term and chronic pain. FeG may control the inflammatory process and the production of free radicals and other toxic reactions related to inflammation.

One promising aspect of ImSAIDS, as opposed to NSAIDs, is that they don't affect the immune system as a whole. Instead, medications that contain ImSAIDS slow down acute immune responses to specific injuries in the body.