what is thymosin?

what is thymosin?

what is thymosin?

Thymosin (also known as thymus peptide, thymus hormone, thymosin).Thymosin is a protein secreted by the thymus. It is a group of peptides and protein hormones. It is a small molecule peptide that can be found in animal tissues. These proteins are called thymosin because they were first found in the thymus, but recently in many organ tissues. They are also found to exist. Thymosin has different biological structures. Currently, two structures are known: thymosin α1 and β4 have great potential for medical application. Some studies have been completed in the experimental phase and applied to clinical practice.


The discovery of thymosins in the mid 1960s emerged from investigations of the role of the thymus in development of the vertebrate immune system. Begun by Allan L. Goldstein in the Laboratory of Abraham White at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, the work continued at University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington D.C. The supposition that the role of the thymus might involve a hormone-like mechanism led to the isolation from thymus tissue of a biologically active preparation. Known as “Thymosin Fraction 5”, this was able to restore some aspects of immune function in animals lacking thymus gland. Fraction 5 was found to contain over 40 small peptides (molecular weights ranging from 1000 to 15,000 Da.),which were named “thymosins” and classified as α, β and γ thymosins on the basis of their behaviour in an electric field. Although found together in Fraction 5, they are now known to be structurally and genetically unrelated. Thymosin β1 was found to be ubiquitin (truncated by two C-terminal glycine residues).


When individual thymosins were isolated from Fraction 5 and characterized, they were found to have extremely varied and important biological properties. However they are not truly thymic hormones in that they are not restricted in occurrence to thymus and several are widely distributed throughout many different tissues.

Function and application:

Thymosin produces GM-CSF (white blood cell stimulating factor) by stimulating keratinocytes in the epidermis. GM-CSF stimulates the formation of granules in white blood cells, enhances immunity, and promotes T cell differentiation and maturation, that is, induces stem cells to transform into T cells, and further differentiates into mature T cells; It can also promote the activation, regeneration and proliferation of atrophic and degraded lymphocytes; it can also enhance the activity of T cells in the blood circulation, and can eliminate foreign invading substances. In addition to this, thymosin has many effects. It inhibits the synthesis and release of acetylcholine (an important neurotransmitter) in motor nerve endings and inhibits the excitation of motor nerves.

It has also been found that thymosin is involved in aging. Epidermal cells produce keratin and cytoplasmic proteins. These proteins are related to the formation of cytoskeleton and skin protection functions. As the age increases, the function of epidermal cells becomes worse, secretion decreases, and skin changes. thin. Further, wrinkles are formed, and aging occurs. By stimulation with thymosin, the epidermal cells are activated to achieve anti-aging effects.

Currently, thymosin is mainly used for the treatment of diseases such as viruses, anti-aging and cancer.

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