The effect of thymopentin treatment was investigated in immunocompromized elderly subjects. Thymopentin was able to increase IL-2 production and IL-2 receptor expression, as assessed on PHA-activated blasts by percentage of Tac-positive cells and response to exogenous IL-2. After treatment, an increased precursor frequency, estimated by limiting dilution analysis, of PHA-responding lymphocytes was observed in two out of six subjects tested. In vitro experiments with thymopentin show that the drug was able to enhance blastogenesis by PHA of elderly lymphocytes but not of adult cells. These results indicate that (a) the increased IL-2 synthesis/IL-2 receptor expression may be the crucial mechanism of the immunopotentiating activity of the drug in elderly subjects and (b) an increased intrinsic T-cell responsiveness seems to be responsible for this immunopotentiating activity, although an increase in the size of the responsive T-cell pool could not be excluded.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine