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Biological Research

Print version ISSN 0716-9760


FOLCH, Hugo et al. Immunohistochemical evidences showing the presence of thymulin containing cells located in involuted thymus and in peripheral lymphoid organs. Biol. Res. [online]. 2010, vol.43, n.3, pp.291-298. ISSN 0716-9760.

Thymulin is a well-characterized thymic hormone that exists as a nonapeptide coupled to equimolar amounts of Zn2+. Thymulin is known to have multiple biological roles, including T cell differentiation, immune regulation, and analgesic functions. It has been shown that thymulin is produced by the reticulo-epithelial cells of the thymus, and it circulates in the blood from the moment of birth, maintain its serum level until puberty diminishing thereafter in life. To study the localization of this hormone, we prepared polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies against the commercial peptide and utilized immunocytochemical techniques for visualization. The results indicate that thymulin stains the thymic reticular cells, the outer layers of Hassall's corpuscles and a large round cellular type, which is keratin-negative and does not show affinity for the common leukocyte antigen (CD-45). In mice, this thymulin-positive cell remains in the thymus throughout life and even appears in relatively increased numbers in old involuted thymi. It also appears in thymus-dependent areas of the spleen and lymph nodes, demonstrating that at least one of the thymus cells containing this peptide can be found in peripheral lymphoid tissue.

Keywords : Thymulin; Facteur Thymique Serique; thymic hormones.

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