Abnormal Levels of Thymosin α1 and the Destruction of the Thymus Gland in the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome

  • Arthur E. DavisJr.
Part of the GWUMC Department of Biochemistry Annual Spring Symposia book series (GWUN)


The acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) apparently represents a progressive and irreversible loss of cell-mediated immunity (Fauci, 1983). This may be in part a result of an organ-specific immune complex attack on the thymus gland. This disease has been manifested clinically by fever, malaise, anorexia, progressive weight loss, night sweats, diarrhea, lymphadenopathy, and finally the development of serious opportunistic infections and/or Kaposi’s sarcoma. The mortality is at least over 50% and may approach 100%. Originally, AIDS was thought to be limited to the male homosexual population, but now has been found in i.v. drug users, Haitians, and close contacts in these groups (Harris et al., 1983). Unfortunately, AIDS has now been identified in recipients of blood and blood products, such as hemophiliacs, and may indicate wide dissemination (Lederman et al., 1983). The epidemiology indicates that AIDS is an infectious disease that is transmitted by body fluids and is most probably a virus (Gallo et al., 1983).


Acquire Immune Deficiency Syndrome Autoimmune Thyroiditis Thymic Epithelial Cell Pyknotic Nucleus Thymus Gland 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arthur E. DavisJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.Roche Biomedical Laboratories, Inc.BurlingtonUSA

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