Thymosin in the Staging and Treatment of HLTV-III Positive Homosexuals and Hemophiliacs with AIDS-Related Immune Dysfunction

  • Allan L. Goldstein
  • Paul H. Naylor
  • Richard S. Schulof
  • Gary L. Simon
  • Marcelo B. Sztein
  • Craig M. Kessler
  • Majorie Robert-Guroff
  • Robert C. Gallo
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 187)


The paralysis and destruction of the thymic dependent immune system has become the hallmark of the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) (1). Clinical symptoms of the disease usually include a progressive decline in essentially all thymus mediated immune functions, an increase in susceptibility to pneumocystis carinii pneumonia and other opportunistic infections, and an increase in the incidence of Kaposi’s sarcoma and a number of lymphoid tumors (2–4). The current prognosis for patients with AIDS is dismal. Over 7,000 cases of AIDS have now been reported to the Center for Disease Control and over 70% of the patients have died. Immunological abnormalities which accompany the disease include a decline in helper T-cell number and function, a decline in lymphocyte reactivity to mitogens and antigens, decreased production of lymphokines (such as T-cell growth factor, IL-2, and interferon), and an increase in thymosin α1 like cross-reacting material in serum. The presence of antibodies to a number of viruses has been documented and a recently described retrovirus designated as HTLV-III has been implicated as the cause of AIDS (1,5,6). To date AIDS has been confined primarily to individuals who fall into a relatively small number of risk groups. They include homosexuals (78 %), IV drug addicts (14 %), Haitians (3 %), and hemophiliacs (1 %) (1). The remaining small number of individuals (4 %) are generally found to be associated in some way with the defined risk groups.


Acquire Immune Deficiency Syndrome Primary Immunodeficiency Disease Thymic Hormone High Performance Liquid Chromotography Define Risk Group 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Allan L. Goldstein
    • 1
  • Paul H. Naylor
    • 1
  • Richard S. Schulof
    • 1
  • Gary L. Simon
    • 1
  • Marcelo B. Sztein
    • 1
  • Craig M. Kessler
    • 1
  • Majorie Robert-Guroff
    • 1
  • Robert C. Gallo
    • 2
  1. 1.The George Washington Univ. Medical Ctr.USA
  2. 2.National Cancer InstituteBethesdaUSA

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