Natural and synthetic thymic peptides as therapeutics for immune dysfunction

Int J Immunopharmacol. 1997 Sep-Oct;19(9-10):501-5. doi: 10.1016/s0192-0561(97)00058-1.


Natural thymic peptides have been isolated from calf thymus by mild acid extraction. Pharmaceutical containing natural peptides (Thymalin) was put into practice as immunocorrector. One of the immunomodulatory molecules (L-Glu-L-Trp) has been isolated from Thymalin by reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography. Pharmaceutical containing this agent (Thymogen) was designed on the base of synthesized dipeptide. A novel immunomodulatory dipeptide was synthesized and termed Vilon. Both natural and synthetic pharmaceuticals activated T-cell differentiation, T-cell recognition of peptide-MHC complexes, induced the changes in intracellular composition of cyclic nucleotides and cytokine [interleukin (IL-2), interferon (IFN)] excretion of blood lymphocytes. Synthetic dipeptides activated neutrophil chemotaxis and phagocytosis. They had no influence on antioxidant response in thymocytes in comparison with natural peptides. Thymalin and Thymogen were used in persons with chronic pathology and immune dysfunction. The results indicate that thymic peptides participate in the regulating mechanisms of inflammatory processes as cytokine antagonists and show the difference between natural and synthetic products. It is important for the drugs designed to prevent immune dysfunction development.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / chemical synthesis
  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / pharmacology
  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / therapeutic use*
  • Animals
  • Antibody Formation / drug effects
  • Cattle
  • Dipeptides*
  • Humans
  • Immune System Diseases / immunology
  • Immune System Diseases / therapy
  • Immunity, Cellular / drug effects
  • Immunotherapy
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Mice, Inbred CBA
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / prevention & control
  • Peptides / chemical synthesis
  • Peptides / pharmacology
  • Peptides / therapeutic use*
  • Rats
  • Thymus Hormones / pharmacokinetics
  • Thymus Hormones / pharmacology
  • Thymus Hormones / therapeutic use*


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Dipeptides
  • Peptides
  • Thymus Hormones
  • thymogen
  • thymalin