pGSN: The Power of Innate Immunity
Immunotherapy and Plasma Gelsolin
Immunotherapy harnesses the body’s natural immune system to fight disease. There are two major components of the immune system: innate immunity and adaptive immunity. Plasma gelsolin is a component of the innate immune system–the first line of defense against threats to the organism.
The innate (non-specific) immune system is the original immune system which evolved as the first line of defense to address infection, a dominating force in evolution. The innate immune system includes ever-present defenses that are ready to be mobilized, whereas adaptive immunity requires time to mount a response to each invading organism. This innate system is not pathogen-specific and reacts equally well to a wide variety of organisms. By contrast, adaptive immunity is pathogen-specific and reacts only to the organism that induced the response.
Inflammation and Plasma Gelsolin
A local inflammatory response is essential for the healing process to take place at the site of injury and to fight infection. The innate immune system triggers this inflammatory response. However, when this process becomes dysregulated, an inflammatory cascade results. Inflammatory mediators targeted to a localized injury escape into the systemic circulation causing serious consequences, such as organ damage and death. Plasma gelsolin is a unique component of this system in that its role is to modulate this necessary process so that what was intended to be a mechanism of healing does not become an instrument of morbidity and death. When depletion of plasma gelsolin becomes critical, inflammation becomes dysregulated and results in poor outcomes. The cost to the health system and society of these poor outcomes is great, with even survivors having enduring issues. To date, interventions have been late and ineffective.
Plasma gelsolin’s ability to bind to many of the mediators which contribute to the excesses of inflammation and suppress innate immunity allow it to both fight infection and localize the inflammatory response. These findings represent a major scientific breakthrough.