Thymulin Deficiency and Low T3 Syndrome in Infants With Low-Birth-Weight Syndromes
Several immunological abnormalities have been reported during the first week of life in premature and/or low-weight newborns. Impaired thymic function and particularly reduced capacity of the thymus to produce thymic hormones might be implicated in this immunodeficiency1. Experimental and clinical data suggest that thymic endocrine activity is regulated by the neuroendocrine system2, in particular by the thyroid status3,4. We have previously reported that in human adults the circulating level of one of the most known thymic hormonesj, i.e. thymulin4,5, is decreased in hypothyroidism and increased in hyperthyroidism and these changes are reversed by restoration of the euthyroid state with appropriate therapy. Premature or SGA infants have reduced serum thyroid hormone concentrations during the first post-natal weeks6. In order to investigate whether impaired thymic endocrine activity and thyroid function abnormalities are related, we carried out several and parallel measurements of thymulin, T3 and T4 during the first weeks of life in full-term and in preterm newborns with various conditions.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.R.H. Chandra, Serum thymic hormone activity and cell mediated immunity in healthy neonates, preterm infants, and small-for-gestational age infants, Pediatrics 76:407 (1981).Google Scholar