Immune Modulation with Thymosin Alpha 1 Treatment

Vitam Horm. 2016;102:151-78. doi: 10.1016/bs.vh.2016.04.003. Epub 2016 May 24.


Thymosin alpha 1 (Ta1) is a peptide originally isolated from thymic tissue as the compound responsible for restoring immune function to thymectomized mice. Ta1 has a pleiotropic mechanism of action, affecting multiple immune cell subsets that are involved in immune suppression. Ta1 acts through Toll-like receptors in both myeloid and plasmacytoid dendritic cells, leading to activation and stimulation of signaling pathways and initiation of production of immune-related cytokines. Due to the immune stimulating effects of Ta1, the compound would be expected to show utility for treatment of immune suppression, whether related to aging or to diseases such as infection or cancer. Extensive studies in both the preclinical and clinical setting will be summarized in the subsequent sections. These studies have demonstrated improvements in immune system cell subsets and the potential of Ta1 for the treatment of a range of diseases.

Keywords: Cancer treatment; Immune modulation; Infectious disease treatment; Thymalfasin; Thymosin alpha 1; Vaccine enhancement.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Immunity / drug effects*
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / drug therapy
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / immunology
  • Immunosuppression Therapy
  • Infections / drug therapy
  • Infections / immunology
  • Mice
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Thymalfasin
  • Thymosin / administration & dosage
  • Thymosin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Vaccines / immunology


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Vaccines
  • Thymosin
  • Thymalfasin

Supplementary concepts

  • Immune Deficiency Disease