Effects of Thymic Peptides on Hypothalamic-Pituitary Function
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.
KeywordsAthymic Nude Mouse Athymic Mouse Endocrine Organ Thymus Gland Vaginal Opening
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Calzolari, A., 1898, Recherches experimentales sur un rapport probable entre la fonction du thymus et celle des testicules, Arch. Ital. Biol. Torino 30:71–77.Google Scholar
- Goldstein, A. L., Naylor, P., and Rebar, R. W., 1983, Concentrations of thymic peptides in various clinical states, Abstracts of the 65th Annual Meeting of the Endocrine Society, Abstr. No. 471, p. 198.Google Scholar
- Hall, N. R., McGillis, J. P., Spangelo, B. L., and Goldstein, A. L., 1982, Evidence for an interaction between thymosin peptides and the pituitary-gonadal axis, Fed. Proc. Abstr. 41:1267.Google Scholar
- Hendrickx, A. G., 1971, Embryology of the Baboon, pp. 174–180, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
- Kendall, M. D. (ed.), 1981, Introduction, in: The Thymus Gland, pp. 1–6, Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
- McGillis, J. P., Feith, T., Kyeyune-Nyombi, F., Vahouny, G. V., Hall, N. R., and Goldstein, A. L., 1982, Evidence for an interaction between thymosin peptides and the pituitary-adrenal axis, Fed. Proc.Abstr. 41:111.Google Scholar
- Michael, S. D., Allen, L. S., McClure, J. E., Goldstein, A. L., and Barkley, M. S., 1981, Interactions between estradiol and thymosin α1 levels in the female mouse, Abstracts of the 63rd Annual Meeting of the Endocrine Society, Abstr. No. 308, p. 159.Google Scholar
- Rebar, R. W., Morandini, I. C., Silva de Sa, M. F., Erickson, G. F., and Petze, J. E., 1981b, The importance of the thymus gland for normal reproductive function in mice, in: Dynamics of Ovarian Function (N. Schwartz and M. Hunzicker-Dunn, eds.), pp. 285–290, Raven Press, New York.Google Scholar
- Rebar, R. W., Latham, A., and Petze, J., 1982, Thymic peptides stimulates secretion of luteinizing hormon-releasing factor (LRF), Abstracts of the 64th Annual Meeting of the Endocrine Society, Abstr. No. 11.Google Scholar
- Rebar, R. W., Miyake, A., Erickson, G. F., Low, T. L. K., and Goldstein, A. L., 1983, The influence of the thymus gland on reproductive function: A hypothalamic site of action, in: 4th Biennial Workshop on the Ovary: Regulation of Ovarian Function, (G.S. Greenwald and P.F. Terranova, eds.), pp. 465–469, Raven Press, New York.Google Scholar
- Ross, G. J., and Van de Wiele, R. L., 1981, The ovaries, in: Textbook of Endocrinology (R.H. Williams, ed.), pp. 355–399, Saunders, Philadelphia.Google Scholar