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SSHD molecules



Three genes DEFB1, IL7 and OX40, when are optimally expressed play vital role to boost and support a series of important immune systems that protect the body, inside and out, from infectious agents such as bacteria and viruses and to help overcome infectious diseases. SSHD-OX40/IL7/DF1 combination target these three genes.

What do these genes DEFB1, IL7 and OX40 do?

DEFB1: All external and internal body surfaces are continuously exposed to infectious agents such as harmful bacteria, fungi and viruses. The DEFB1 gene produces a very important non-adaptive microbicidal protein or peptide that forms the body's first line of defense against infectious agents that the adaptive immune systems cannot reach. This anti-bacterial peptide is produced on the surface of all body tissues including skin and reproductive organs [1] to protect against infections. It is also found in breast milk to provide another layer of protection for infants [2]. Reduced activity of DEFB1 leads to increased susceptibility to many different types of infection.

IL-7: There are two basic types of adaptive immunity, referred to as B cell mediated and T cell mediated immunity. On exposure to an infectious agent, B cells make soluble antibodies that circulate in the blood and body fluids to help kill bacteria and neutralise viruses and toxins. For B cells to make antibodies most effectively they need help from a type of T cell called a T helper cell. There is another type of T cell called a cytotoxic T cell. Cytotoxic T cells play an important role in limiting the infectivity of viruses by killing the body's cells that have been infected by them. Both T cells and B cells are produced in the bone marrow basically from the same precursor cells.

IL-7 is a natural cytokine that has the ability to stimulate the production of new immuno-competent cells, both T cells and B cells in the bone marrow. Thus, IL-7 boosts immunity by making more B cells and T cells so that the body has a greater number of immune-competent cells to fight different types of infectious agents. It may also be of help to boost the production of new immune cells in those that suffer from immune deficiency as a consequence of infection by the AIDS virus [3]. It is also helpful for increasing the benefits of immunisation.

OX40: When T cells are recruited to mount an immune response against infectious agents such as viruses, a few days after infection, helper T cells begin to die more quickly. As a result, the immune response is diminished. Also, as part of the immune response a type of T cell called a memory T cell is formed. Memory T cells can fight the infectious agent much more effectively when it is next encountered. OX40, which is expressed in activated T cells a few days after infection, reduces the death rate of T helper cells so that the immune response is longer lasting [4]. It also supports proliferation of memory T cells so that immune responsiveness to an infective agent is more rapid when it is next encountered.


  1. Jia H P et al., Abundant human beta-defensin-1 expression in milk and mammary gland epithelium. J. Pediat. 2001:138; 109.
  2. Valore E V et al., Human beta-defensin-1: an antimicrobial peptide of urogenital tissues. J. Clin. Invest. 1998:101; 1633.
  3. http://www.cytheris.com/Science/interleukin7.php
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11567634

Want to know more?

For more information about this SSHD molecule, contact your healthcare practitioner or arrange an appointment using our clinic.

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