Thymosin α1 and cancer: Action on immune effector and tumor target cells

Enrico Garaci, Francesca Pica, Annalucia Serafino, Emanuela Balestrieri, Claudia Matteucci, Gabriella Moroni, Roberta Sorrentino, Manuela Zonfrillo, Pasquale Pierimarchi, Paola Sinibaldi-Vallebona

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Since it was first identified, thymosin alpha 1 (Tα1) has been characterized to have pleiotropic effects on several pathological conditions, in particular as a modulator of immune response and inflammation. Several properties exerted by Tα1 may be attributable to a direct action on lymphoid cells. Tα1 has been shown to exert an immune modulatory activity on both T cell and natural killer cell maturation and to have an effect on functions of mature lymphocytes, including stimulating cytokine production and cytotoxic T lymphocyte-mediated cytotoxic responses. In previous studies we have shown that Tα1 increases the expression of major histocompatibility complex class I surface molecules in murine and human tumor cell lines and in primary cultures of human macrophages. In the present paper, we describe preliminary data indicating that Tα1 is also capable of increasing the expression of tumor antigens in both experimental and human tumor cell lines. This effect, which is exerted at the level of the target tumor cells, represents an additional factor increasing the antitumor activity of Tα1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-33
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012


  • Cancer
  • Immune effector cells
  • Thymosin α1
  • Tumor antigens

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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