Research Article| Volume 21, ISSUE 3, P607-618, September 2001

Bioregulators as Instruments of Terror

  • Elliott Kagan
    Address reprint requests to Elliott Kagan, MD, FRCPath, Department of Pathology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Bethesda, MD 20814-4799.
    From the Department of Pathology, F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland
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      Bioregulators are naturally occurring organic compounds that regulate diverse cellular processes. Unlike traditional diseasecausing biowarfare agents that take hours or days to act, many bioregulators act within minutes of administration. If exploited for the purpose of bioterrorism, they could potentially cause profound physiologic effects. Other effects may be more subtle. The main groups of bioregulators discussed are cytokines, eicosanoids, neurotransmitters, hormones, and proteolytic enzymes. Because advances continually are being made in their development, bioregulators should be considered as weapons with increasing bioterrorism potential.
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