Bone marrow cells of various animal species and men produce a group of bioregulatory peptides called myelopeptides (MPs). A highly purified MP fraction and some individual molecules have been isolated from the supernatant of porcine bone marrow cell cultures by reverse phase chromatography.
MPs have a wide spectrum of functional activities: immunoregulatory, differentiating and opiate-like. They evoke 2–5-fold stimulation of antibody production to various antigens. They correct some immune defects in MRL/lpr mice with spontaneous autoimmune disorders that results in 2-fold prolongation of the life span of these mice. MPs influence the differentiation of bone marrow and peripheral blood cells derived from healthy and leukemic donors. They induce terminal differentiation in the leukemic human HL-60 cell line. MPs also show an effect on pain sensitivity.
A new immunocorrective drug Myelopid has been developed on the basis of MP mixtures. This drug is effectively used in Russia both in medicine and veterinary practice for prophylaxis and treatment of diseases accompanied by immunodeficiency.
Two individual MPs were isolated and identified: Phe-Leu-Gly-Phe-Pro-Thr (MP-1) and Leu-Val-Val-Tyr-Pro-Trp (MP-2). MP-1 displays immunoregulatory activity; MP-2 abolishes the inhibitory effect of leukemic cells on T-lymphocyte functional activity.
MPs seem to provide not only immunoregulation but also to participate in complex interactions between different systems in the organism.