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Significance of interaction of immune system, thymus gland and thymus peptides

Our body's infection defense system (immune system) is capable of recognizing and warding off viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites that enter the body from outside.

Diseased cells or tumor cells are recognized and eliminated by the immune system. Cells that have been damaged by toxins or harmful radiation are also identified and eliminated.

The thymus gland assumes a key role in the control and regulation of the body’s immune defenses, which function is controlled mainly by the thymus peptides produced inside the gland. That is why these peptides are so important for strong immune defenses and all related physiological functions. 


External immune system support is even more important as a person grows older, since the performance life of the thymus gland decreases. The thymus gland shrinks continuously and the amounts of thymus peptides it produces grow constantly smaller. As a result, the immune system is not always able to protect us from infections, cancer, rheumatic diseases, skin disease and states of exhaustion. click here to view the manufacture's website

The thymus gland has a decisive role as the primary organ for the selection of immune competent cells and, therby, in the co-ordination of the immune response.  It is jointly responsible in this, with its positive and negative selection of immune competent cells, instrumental for the function of the cellular immune response.


The thymocytes are specifically activated, through their T cell receptors and MHC contact, by the numerous antigen-presenting cells (dendrites, macrophages, B cells) present in the medulla of the thymus gland.

Too strong or too weak an activation leads to the cell death of the thymocytes.  Thymocytes with an average affinity at their TCRs for the MHC binding site of the antigen presenting cells leave the thymus gland  as functioning T cells.


Stimulated by thymus peptides, in particular thymopoetine and thymosine, they develop into effector-cells and are then responsible for the specific cellular immune response.  Thereby, the peptides also stimulate the cytokines, such as IL-2, necessary for the stimulation of the effector-cells.


Thymocytes with a somewhat stronger affinity develop under the influence of thymulin into natural T regulators (CD4/CD25/FoxP3+) and have a marginally immuno-suppressive effect.

A functioning thymus gland, with its numerous thymic hormones and thymic peptides, responsible for the regulation of the immune system, is for this reason the basis for the successful treatment of diseases of the immune system.


Since very nearly all acute on chronic illnesses, in particular, however, tumourigenic diseases, are associated with dysfunction of the cellular immune response and also distinct disruption to thymus functions can be shown in these diseases, therapeutic modulation with thymic hormones and thymus peptides is the basis for the successful treatment of chronic illnesses as well as tumourigenic diseases. click here to view clinical studies


Numerous effects on the immune system, then, are postulated for thymus peptide therapy.  In principle, thymic peptides, if they include the agents responsible for immune system regulation, are suited, in a complex manner, to the restoration almost all immune functions.  In this, the effect rests predominantly in the modulation by deficient thymic function of accured pathogenic dysfunctions of the immune processes. 

Thymic peptides, via the modulation of the regulation of immune defences, are especially capable also of counter balancing particular dysfunctions, such as suppression and escape mechanisms, and therewith of influencing, e.g. in tumourigenic diseases, deficits in effector-cells such as cytotoxic lymphocytes and NK cells.


They can regulate down the T8 and T4 regulatory cells, responsible for the suppression of effector-cells, and accordingly regulate up cytotoxic and killer cells necessary e.g. for tumour response.


By modulating the regulatory cells, however, excessive reactions induced by the deficient function of regulatory cells can be beneficially influenced in autoaggressive illnesses as well.

In particular, therefore, the goal of a differentiated thymus peptide therapy is modulation and, as a consequence, the suppression or stimulation of abnormal immune functions under adequate monitoring by immune phenotyping.


For a short while, synthetic thymic peptides (active agent GKL-03, preparation Thymrevit, Vita-Cos-Med Klett-Loch GmbH, Mannheim) have been available for such immunomodulation.  These are part of a chemically identical, entirely synthetic thymus gland extract of the short-chain tetrapeptides typically found in the thymus gland.  The extract contains the complete library of thymus peptides of low molecular weight.  The thymus peptides are prepared from biochemical amino acids.  click here to view clinical studies

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