Military Importance of Natural Toxins and Their Analogs.
Bioregulators are naturally occurring organic compounds that regulate diverse cellular processes. Unlike traditional disease-causing 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.