Neuroendocrine thymus and β-adrenergic responsiveness in aging mice

G. Rossolini, A. Basso, L. Piantanelli, R. Tacconi, D. Amici, G. L. Gianfranceschi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It has previously been shown that thymus exerts a regulatory influence on the β-adrenergic system, controlling, in particular, DNA synthesis in submandibular glands following injection with isoproterenol (IPR). A decreased peak of response found in old mice can be corrected by grafting a neonatal thymus into old animals. In order to clear whether its restoring action needs mutual interrelationships with other control systems or, alternatively, whether even some thymic factor can be effective, the IPR response mentioned above was also assayed in old animals treated with a thymic extract (TME). Among thenumerous thymic factors, this extract was chosen due to the effect that it was prepared on the basis of non-immunological tests and had already been shown to be effective in correcting some alterations observed in old rats. Results show that TME is capable of partially restoring the impaired response found in old mice. The location of the peak of thymidine incorporation, however, is shifted towards the right with respect the peak time observed in young, old and thymus-grafted old mice. Without additional studies, it cannot be decided whether the shift and the only partial recovery is due to the particular dose and duration of the treatment or represents a weaker action of the extract with respect to that of thymic graft.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-318
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - 1992


  • DNA synthesis
  • reversibility of aging
  • submandibular glands
  • thymus
  • β-adrenergic system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Gerontology
  • Health(social science)
  • Medicine(all)


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