Thymosin Alpha-1 is a peptide, or small protein, produced naturally by the thymus gland. The thymus is where immune cells known as T cells mature and are released when prompted to do so by the Thymosin Alpha-1 peptide. T cell production and action within the body is vital to adaptive immunity. It plays an integral role in the maturation of immune system cells known as T-cells, which are vital in fighting harmful bacteria, fungi, or viruses. Thymosin alpha 1 also has anti-inflammatory and anti-fatigue properties and is given in patients with hepatitis B and C, malignant melanoma, liver cancer, drug-resistant tuberculosis, Lyme disease and Di George’s syndrome (immunodeficiency disease).
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Thymosin Alpha 1 (TA1) is a peptide originally isolated from thymic tissue and is a compound believed to be responsible for restoring immune function in thymectomized mice. Thymosin Alpha 1 has been shown to have a pleiotropic mechanism of action and affects multiple immune cell subsets that are involved in immune suppression. Studies have demonstrated improvements in immune system cell subsets and the potential of TA1 for the treatment of a range of diseases. Thus, Thymosin Alpha 1, due to the immune stimulating effects exhibited by TA1, may have utility for the treatment of age or disease related immune suppression.
Potential Benefits of Thymosin Alpha 1
Enhances the function of certain immune cells called T and dendritic cells
Effective for acute and chronic infections
Help eradicate the unhealthy cells and stop the infection or cancer growth
Exhibits antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties
Suppresses tumor growth
Increases vaccine effectiveness
Protects against oxidative damage
The efficacy of thymosin alpha 1 for severe sepsis (ETASS): a multicenter, single-blind, randomized and controlled trial. Crit Care. 2013;17(1):R8. Published 2013 Jan 17. doi:10.1186/cc11932.
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Combination therapy with thymosin alpha1 and interferon for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C infection: a randomized, placebo-controlled double-blind trial. 1998 Apr; 27(4):1128-35.
Thymosin alpha 1 activates dendritic cells for antifungal Th1 resistance through toll-like receptor signaling. Blood. 2004;103(11):4232-9.
Thymosin alpha1 based immunomodulatory therapy for sepsis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Infect Dis. 2015;33:90-6.
The Efficacy and Immunomodulatory Effects of Ulinastatin and Thymosin α1 for Sepsis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, BioMed Research International, vol. 2016, Article ID 9508493, 8 pages, 2016. https://doi.org/10.1155/2016/9508493.
Modulation of human natural killer cell cytotoxic activity, lymphokine production, and interleukin 2 receptor expression by thymic hormones. J Immunol. 1987;17:2338–2343.
Characterization of the immunoregulatory properties of thymosin alpha 1 on interleukin-2 production and interleukin-2 receptor expression in normal human lymphocytes. Int J Immunopharmacol. 1989;17:789–800. doi: 10.1016/0192-0561(89)90133-1.
Thymosin alpha1: an endogenous regulator of inflammation, immunity, and tolerance. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2007;17:326–338. doi: 10.1196/annals.1415.002.
Thymosin alpha1: the regulator of regulators? Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2010;17:1–5. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2010.05465.x.
Thymosin alpha1- and ulinastatin-based immunomodulatory strategy for sepsis arising from intra-abdominal infection due to carbapenem-resistant bacteria. J Infect Dis. 2008;17:723–730. doi: 10.1086/590500.
Thymosin alpha 1 is associated with improved cellular immunity and reduced infection rate in severe acute pancreatitis patients in a double-blind randomized control study. Inflammation. 2011;17:198–202. doi: 10.1007/s10753-010-9224-1.
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Effects of thymosin alpha-1 on pituitary hormone release. Neuroendocrinology. 1992;55(1):14-9.
Thymosin alpha 1 treatment for patients with sepsis. Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2018;18(sup1):71-76.
From lab to bedside: emerging clinical applications of thymosin alpha 1. Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2009;9(5):593-608.
Thymosin α 1 potentiates the release by CD8(+) cells of soluble factors able to inhibit HIV-1 and human T lymphotropic virus 1 infection in vitro. Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2015;15 Suppl 1:S83-100.
Thymosin Alpha1-Fc Modulates the Immune System and Down-regulates the Progression of Melanoma and Breast Cancer with a Prolonged Half-life. Sci Rep. 2018;8(1):12351. Published 2018 Aug 17. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-30956-y.
Activation of tumor-associated macrophages by thymosin alpha 1. Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2004;17(1):39-47.
Thymosin α1 and cancer: action on immune effector and tumor target cells. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2012;1269:26-33.
Thymosin α1 therapy subsequent to radical hepatectomy in patients with hepatitis B virus-associated hepatocellular carcinoma: A retrospective controlled study. Oncol Lett. 2016;12(5):3513–3518. doi:10.3892/ol.2016.5121.
Thymosin α1 and cancer: Action on immune effector and tumor target cells. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2012;1269:26–33. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2012.06697.x.
influence of thymosin α1 on postoperative recurrence of primary liver cancer. Chin J Hepatobil Surg. 2004;10:592–593.
Could thymostimulin prevent hepatocellular carcinoma occurrence in patients with liver cirrhosis? Oncol Rep. 1996;3:655–656.
Thymic peptides for treatment of cancer patients. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011;(2):CD003993.
Stage IV Wilms Tumor Treated by Korean Medicine, Hyperthermia and Thymosin-α1: A Case Report. Case Rep Oncol. 2016;9(1):119-25.
Thymosin alpha 1 suppresses proliferation and induces apoptosis in breast cancer cells through PTEN-mediated inhibition of PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway. Apoptosis. 2015;20(8):1109-21.
Thymosin alpha 1 in the treatment of cancer: from basic research to clinical application. Int J Immunopharmacol. 2000;22(12):1067-76.
Effect of thymosin alpha 1 on the antitumor activity of tumor-associated macrophage-derived dendritic cells. J Biomed Sci. 2004;11(5):623-30.
Generation of a novel long-acting thymosin alpha1-Fc fusion protein and its efficacy for the inhibition of breast cancer in vivo. Biomed Pharmacother. 2018;108:610-617.
Large randomized study of thymosin alpha 1, interferon alfa, or both in combination with dacarbazine in patients with metastatic melanoma. J Clin Oncol. 2010;28(10):1780-7.
Thymosin α1 in melanoma: from the clinical trial setting to the daily practice and beyond. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2012;1270:8-12.
Thymosin alpha-1; a natural peptide inhibits cellular proliferation, cell migration, the level of reactive oxygen species and promotes the activity of antioxidant enzymes in human lung epithelial adenocarcinoma cell line (A549). Environ Toxicol. 2019;34(8):941-949.
Antioxidant and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitory activity of thymosin alpha-1 (Thα1) peptide. Bioorg Chem. 2019;87:743-752.
Thymosin alpha 1 stimulates endothelial cell migration, angiogenesis, and wound healing. J Immunol. 1998;160(2):1001-6.
Thymosin α1 treatment reduces hepatic inflammation and inhibits hepatocyte apoptosis in rats with acute liver failure. Exp Ther Med. 2018;15(4):3231–3238. doi:10.3892/etm.2018.5843.
Thymosin alpha 1 activates dendritic cells for antifungal Th1 resistance through toll-like receptor signaling. Blood. 2004;103:4232–4239. doi: 10.1182/blood-2003-11-4036.
Thymosin alpha1 activates the TLR9/MyD88/IRF7-dependent murine cytomegalovirus sensing for induction of anti-viral responses in vivo. Int Immunol. 2007;19:1261–1270. doi: 10.1093/intimm/dxm097.
Effect of thymosin alpha-1 on subpopulations of Th1, Th2, Th17, and regulatory T cells (Tregs) in vitro. Braz J Med Biol Res. 2012;45:25–32. doi: 10.1590/S0100-879X2011007500159.
Thymosin alpha1: an endogenous regulator of inflammation, immunity, and tolerance. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2007;1112:326-38.
Thymosin Alpha-1 Inhibits Complete Freund’s Adjuvant-Induced Pain and Production of Microglia-Mediated Pro-inflammatory Cytokines in Spinal Cord. Neurosci Bull. 2019;35(4):637-648.
Thymosin α1 represents a potential potent single-molecule-based therapy for cystic fibrosis. Nat Med. 2017;23(5):590-600.
Thymosin-alpha 1 (Zadaxin) enhances the immunogenicity of an adjuvated pandemic H1N1v influenza vaccine (Focetria) in hemodialyzed patients: a pilot study. Vaccine. 2012;30(6):1170-80.
Thymosin alpha 1 as an adjunct to influenza vaccination in the elderly: rationale and trial summaries. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2007;1112:375-84.
Utility of thymosin alpha-1 (Zadaxin) as a co-adjuvant in influenza vaccines: a review. J Prev Med Hyg. 2011;52(3):111-5.
Immunogenicity in Swine of Orally Administered Recombinant Lactobacillus plantarum Expressing Classical Swine Fever Virus E2 Protein in Conjunction with Thymosin α-1 as an Adjuvant. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2015;81(11):3745-52.
Thymosin alpha 1 and HIV-1: recent advances and future perspectives. Future Microbiol. 2017;12:141-155. doi:10.2217/fmb-2016-0125.
Immunopotentiator Thymosin Alpha-1 Promotes Neurogenesis and Cognition in the Developing Mouse via a Systemic Th1 Bias. Neurosci Bull. 2017;33(6):675-684. doi:10.1007/s12264-017-0162-x.