In vivo immunopotentiating activity of thymopentin in aging humans: Modulation of IL-2 receptor expression

Wilma Barcellini, Pier Luigi Meroni, Maria Orietta Borghi, Daniela Frasca, Renata Perego, Gino Doria, Carlo Zanussi

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The effect of thymopentin treatment was investigated in immunocompromized elderly subjects. Thymopentin was able to increase IL-2 production and IL-2 receptor expression, as assessed on PHA-activated blasts by percentage of Tac-positive cells and response to exogenous IL-2. After treatment, an increased precursor frequency, estimated by limiting dilution analysis, of PHA-responding lymphocytes was observed in two out of six subjects tested. In vitro experiments with thymopentin show that the drug was able to enhance blastogenesis by PHA of elderly lymphocytes but not of adult cells. These results indicate that (a) the increased IL-2 synthesis/IL-2 receptor expression may be the crucial mechanism of the immunopotentiating activity of the drug in elderly subjects and (b) an increased intrinsic T-cell responsiveness seems to be responsible for this immunopotentiating activity, although an increase in the size of the responsive T-cell pool could not be excluded.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-149
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Immunology and Immunopathology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1988


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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