Thymotherapy – dictionary
Thymus – an inconspicuous gland, located behind the sternum – is a central lymphoid organ regulating cell-mediated immunity. That form of immunity is dependent on T-lymphocytes, also referred to as thymus dependent lymphocytes. Main function of the thymus is providing optimal environment for maturation and differentiation to new lymphocytes. Moreover, the thymus synthesizes and releases peptides exerting hormonal activity, which additionally stimulates the maturation process of T-lymphocytes simultaneously boosting cell-mediated immunity.
Thymus peptides – endocrine proteins with mode of action similar to hormones, fundamental to immunoregulation of the organism. Deviations of their concentration in the serum coincide with disrupted immunological response found in multiple diseases (e.g. primary and secondary immunodeficiencies, autoimmunological diseases, processes related to aging and some tumours). Those findings laid out the foundation for development of immunotherapy with the use of thymus derived formulations.
Preventing destabilization of the immune system became the goal of a new therapeutic method, called immunocorrection. One of the most significant of such methods is thymotherapy, which potential lies in improving general immune response via administration of thymus peptides.
Animal thymus extracts – a mixture of proteins and hormones purified from the thymus, used in contemporary systemic treatments of wide range of ailments thanks to its multidirectional influence over the immune system. Years of research on thymus extracts resulted in development of formulations of the highest therapeutic potential, among which hormones thymosin α1 and thymosin β4 and polypeptide fractions (mixtures of peptides isolated from the thymus) thymomodulin and thymostimulin exerted significant activity in the process of differentiation of thymus dependent lymphocytes.
The spectrum of activity that those substances display is remarkably wide, warranting further consideration. We will expand upon them in the future, with this article marking the beginning of a series on the therapeutic potential of thymus peptides.
28th March, 2020