Thymic Hormones in the Treatment of Aids and Other Infectious Diseases

  • Allan L. Goldstein
  • Prem S. Sarin
  • Enrico Garaci


The role of the thymus in the modulation of T-cell function and in the release of various hormonelike factors (thymic hormones) has been the subject of major studies in a number of laboratories (Bach, 1983; Goldstein, 1993; Goldstein et al., 1982; Goldstein and White, 1971; Miller, 1961; Oates and Goldstein, 1991; Schulof et al., 1986,1988; Stutman, 1983; Trainin et al., 1979). It is well known that the thymus undergoes a gradual age-dependent involution during which the thymic parenchymal tissue is infiltrated with fat and adipose cells (Hammar, 1971). The thymus reaches its maximum size just before puberty and then gradually decreases in size and weight. The loss of hormone-producing epithelial cells begins early in life and by the second decade in humans, there is a substantial decrease in the number of hormone-containing medullary thymic epithelial cells. The number of hormone-containing thymic cortical epithelial cells also gradually decreases, although these cells can still be observed in the fifth decade of life (Hirokawa et al., 1982). The age-associated decrease in thymic hormone-like activity correlates with the decrease in hormone-containing thymic epithelial cells in both humans (Bach and Dardenne, 1972; Iwata et al., 1981; Lewis et al., 1978; Twomey et al., 1979; Wara and Amman, 1976) and animals (Dardenne et al., 1974; Hammar, 1971; Savino et al., 1983).


Chronic Hepatitis Human Papilloma Virus Primary Immunodeficiency Disease Thymic Hormone Secondary Immunodeficiency 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Allan L. Goldstein
    • 1
  • Prem S. Sarin
    • 1
  • Enrico Garaci
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry and Molecular BiologyThe George Washington University Medical CenterUSA
  2. 2.Department of Experimental Medicine and Biochemical SciencesUniversity of Rome “Tor Vergata”RomeItaly

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