Effects of Thymic Peptides on Hypothalamic-Pituitary Function

  • Robert W. Rebar
Part of the GWUMC Department of Biochemistry Annual Spring Symposia book series (GWUN)


A role for the thymus gland within the immune system is now well recognized. Recent investigations have convincingly demonstrated that the thymus really functions as an endocrine organ, secreting peptides which influence lymphoid tissue structure and function (Goldstein et al., 1981). However, studies from our laboratory also suggest that thymic peptides may play a broader role within the endocrine system and may function as modulators of the hypothalamic-pituitary axis. In this brief review I shall attempt to delineate what we have learned about the apparent relationship between the thymus gland and other endocrine organs. I shall focus particularly on the effects of the thymus on the reproductive system but conclude by speculating about other possible functions for thymic peptides and suggest that the neuroendocrine and immune systems are tightly coupled and function together in a coordinated fashion.


Athymic Nude Mouse Athymic Mouse Endocrine Organ Thymus Gland Vaginal Opening 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert W. Rebar
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Northwestern Memorial HospitalNorthwestern University Medical SchoolChicagoUSA

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