The rapid developments in immunology in recent immunomodulatory drugs can be distinguished years have dramatically expanded our knowledge of from their beneficial therapeutic effects. mammalian host defence mechanisms. The molecu- Currently,it is only possible to obtain an overview lar mechanisms of cellular interactions during of these various aspects of immunopharmacology immune responses have been unravelled,the intra- by reading a range of immunological,pharmacol- cellular responses involved in signal transduction ical,diagnostic and toxicological literature. Good delineated and an ever-increasing number of soluble immunological textbooks are available, while mediators of immune and inflammatory reponses immunopharmacology is covered mainly in terms of have been discovered. the inflammatory response. Principles of Immuno- The initial result of this explosion of knowledge pharmacology is intended to provide for the first time has been to provide the researcher and the clinician in a single volume a basic understanding of with an arsenal of diagnostic tools with which the immunological mechanisms,a review of important immunological bases of disease processes can be immunodiagnostic tools and a description of the investigated. This has made disease diagnosis much main pharmacological agents which modify the more precise,enabling the physician to tailor therapy immune response,together with an introduction to much more closely to the individual patient’s needs. immunotoxicology. As such we hope that it will be However,better understanding of disease processes useful as a reference text for physicians,researchers only provides a gradual improvement in therapy. This and students with a rudimentary knowledge of is because the new molecular targets that have been immunology.
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