Reconstitution of T cell functions in aging mice by thymosin α1

Daniela Frasca, Luciano Adorini, Camillo Mancini, Gino Doria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

Helper T cell activity of spleen cells from BDF1 mice is impaired by aging but is restored to a large extent by injection of thymosin α1, a synthetic peptide consisting of 28 amino acid residues. Injection of an equimolar amount of the N14 (N-terminal half of thymosin α1) synthetic fragment is at least as effective as the entire α1 molecule in increasing helper T cell activity of spleen cells from old (6-18 months) mice but not from young (3 months) mice. Conversely, injection of the C14 (C-terminal half of thymosin α1) synthetic fragment is devoid of any effect in both young and old mice. Since helper T cell activity of spleen cells from old mice is also increased by injection of interleukin-2, the observed enhancement of interleukin-2 production by mitogen-activated spleen cells from old mice upon injection of thymosin α1 or the N14 fragment suggests that these peptides amplify helper T cell activity by increasing the cell precursor frequency of interleukin-2-producing T cells. This conclusion is further supported by the finding that injection of thymosin α1, or its N14, but not C14, fragment enhances the expression of interleukin-2 receptors on mitogen-activated spleen cells from old but not from young mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-163
Number of pages9
JournalImmunopharmacology
Volume11
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1986
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Helper activity
  • Interleukin-2 production
  • Interleukin-2 receptor
  • Thymic factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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