, Volume 9, Issue 1–3, pp 13–16 | Cite as

Activities and characteristics of transfer factors

  • Charles H. Kirkpatrick


This report summarizes three components of our transfer factor research program. Several clinical studies have used oral administration of transfer factor containing materials. Sceptics have rejected these findings by assuming that the acidic and enzymatic environment of the gastrointestinal tract would destroy the factors. To further examine this issue, we have conducted dose-response studies of the delayed-type hypersensitivity reaction in mice that were given transfer factor either by gavage or subcutaneously. There were no difference in the responses that were related to the route of administration. We conclude that oral route of administration is efficacious and should be used when possible.

We have also studied the effects of transfer factors on immune responses by recipients. The details of this research are presented in the paper by Dr. Alvarez-Thull. Briefly, the study showed that recipients of a specific transfer factor responded to the antigen for which the factor was specific by secreting gamma-IFN, but no other cytokines.

The structures of transfer factor molecules are unknown. We have developed a process for isolating transfer factors in pure form and we have obtained preliminary data concerning amino acid sequences. Our goal is to obtain the complete primary structure of several transfer factor molecules.





Hanks’ balanced salt solution


gamma interferon


keyhole limpet hemocyanin


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles H. Kirkpatrick
    • 1
  1. 1.Innovative Therapeutics, Inc.DenverUSA

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