Pharmacological modulation of caspase-8 in thymus-related medical conditions

Nicola Pozzesi, Alessandra Fierabracci, Trinh Thy Thuy, Maria Paola Martelli, Anna Marina Liberati, Emira Ayroldi, Carlo Riccardi, Domenico V. Delfino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The thymus is a lymphoid organ that governs the development of a diverse T-cell repertoire capable of defending against nonselfantigens and avoiding autoimmunity. However, the thymus can also succumb to different diseases. Hypertrophic diseases, such as thymomas, are typically associated with impairment of negative selection, which leads to autoimmune disease, or disruption of positive selection, which results in immunodeficiency. Hypotrophic diseases of the thymus can manifest during acute infections, cancer, allogeneic bonemarrow transplantation, orwith aging. This condition leads to decreased immune function and can be treated by either replacing lost thymic tissue or by preventing thymic tissue death. Studies have demonstrated the critical role of caspase-8 in regulating apoptosis in the thymus. In this review, we discuss how pharmacological activation and inhibition of caspase-8 can be used to treat hypertrophic and hypotrophic diseases of the thymus, respectively, to improve its function. Copyright

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-24
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Medicine(all)


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