Thymulin, a thymic peptide, prevents the overproduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines and heat shock protein Hsp70 in inflammation-bearing mice

Immunol Invest. 2008;37(8):858-70. doi: 10.1080/08820130802447629.


The effects of synthetic analogue of peptide hormone thymulin, which is normally produced by thymic epithelial cells, on immune cells activity and blood cytokine profile had been studied in male NMRI mice with acute inflammation induced by injection of lipopolysaccharide from gram-negative bacteria (LPS, 250 microg/100 g of body weight). Inflammation induced by LPS resulted in accumulation of several plasma pro-inflammatory cytokines, IL-1 beta, IL-2, IL-6, TNF-alpha, interferon-gamma, and also IL-10, anti-inflammatory cytokine. Thymulin previously injected in dose of 15 microg/100 g body weight, prevented the accumulation of proinflammatory cytokines in plasma. Thymulin also prevented LPS-induced up-regulation of production of several cytokines by spleen lymphocytes and peritoneal macrophages. Added in vitro, thymulin decreased the peak of TNF-alpha production in macrophages cultivated with LPS. In addition, thymulin lowered the peak of Hsp70 production induced by LPS treatment. The results indicate that thymulin having significant anti-inflammatory effect may be promising in clinical application.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytokines / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Cytokines / blood
  • HSP72 Heat-Shock Proteins / immunology
  • HSP72 Heat-Shock Proteins / metabolism*
  • Immunologic Factors / administration & dosage
  • Inflammation / blood
  • Inflammation / drug therapy*
  • Lipopolysaccharides / administration & dosage*
  • Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Macrophages, Peritoneal / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Nitric Oxide / blood*
  • Thymic Factor, Circulating / administration & dosage*
  • Thymic Factor, Circulating / analogs & derivatives
  • Thymic Factor, Circulating / chemical synthesis


  • Cytokines
  • HSP72 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • lipopolysaccharide, E. coli O26-B6
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Thymic Factor, Circulating