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Thymulin, a zinc-dependent hormone


Thymulin (formerly called FTS) is a well defined nonapeptide hormone produced by thymic epithelial cells. Us biological activity and antigenicity depend upon the presence of the metal zinc in the molecule. This pharmacologically active metallopeptide induces the differentiation of T-cells and enhances several functions of the various T-cell subsets in normal or partially thymus-deficient recipients. Its effect on suppressor T-cells is, so far, the most remarkable and should be the first to find useful clinical applications. The peptide is a natural hormone, available in synthetic form. It is not toxic and one may foresee its clinical use as one of the major immunoregulatory agents in the near future.

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Bach, JF., Dardenne, M. Thymulin, a zinc-dependent hormone. Med. Oncol. & Tumor Pharmacother. 6, 25–29 (1989).

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Key words

  • Thymulin
  • Metallopeptide
  • Zinc
  • Thymic hormone