Author(s): George B Stefano
1. Evidence for bidirectional interrelationships between the nervous system and immune systems of vertebrates and invertebrates involving opioid peptides is briefly discussed.
2. The involvement of opioid peptides in autoimmunoregulatory communication also is discussed.
3. The presence of mammalian interleukin-like (1 & 6) and tumor necrosis factor-like molecules in invertebrates is reviewed as well as an apparent cascading system for these signal molecules.
4. The significance of ACTH and MSH in cellular immunosuppression and autoimmunoregulation is discussed in the context of a potential role in schistosomiasis and human immunodeficiency virus actions.
5. The review concludes with the hypothesis that the mammalian immune system has its origin in the invertebrate immune/defense system given the many similarities noted in the review based on new knowledge about the more “primitive” system.