Thymus Hormones And Their Functions: Table

Table of contents:

Thymus Hormones And Their Functions: Table
Thymus Hormones And Their Functions: Table

Video: Thymus Hormones And Their Functions: Table

Video: Thymus Hormones And Their Functions: Table
Video: Thymus Gland 2023, May

Thymus hormones and their functions in the body

The content of the article:

  1. Thymus hormone functions

    1. Thymosin
    2. Timulin
    3. Thymopoietin
    4. Insulin-like growth factor 1
  2. Video

Thymus hormones are peptides produced by cells of the thymus gland (thymus), which are involved in many processes in the human body. Their common property is the ability to influence the maturation and activity of T-lymphocytes.

The thymus, or thymus gland, is a lobular organ located in the upper part of the chest (in the anterior mediastinum) and belongs to both the endocrine and immune systems. The size of the thymus gland is greatest in adolescence, with the onset of puberty, the gland undergoes involution and atrophy.

The thymus gland, or thymus, is an organ of both the endocrine and immune systems, as it produces hormones and ensures the maturation of lymphocytes
The thymus gland, or thymus, is an organ of both the endocrine and immune systems, as it produces hormones and ensures the maturation of lymphocytes

The thymus gland, or thymus, is an organ of both the endocrine and immune systems, as it produces hormones and ensures the maturation of lymphocytes

Thymus hormones include:

  • thymosin;
  • thymulin;
  • thymopoietin;
  • insulin-like growth factor 1.

The most studied peptide to date, which is secreted in the thymus, is thymosin.

Glucocorticoids, which are produced in the adrenal cortex, melatonin, synthesized in the pineal gland, and sex hormones, take part in the regulation of the thymus. Estrogens stimulate the synthesis of thymus hormones, progesterone and androgens - inhibit their production. Melatonin and a number of other substances produced by the pineal gland are able to slow down the involution of the thymus gland.

Thymus hormone functions

Thymus peptides are involved in the regulation of lymphocyte production, their differentiation, and maturation. The immune system, that is, the ability of the human body to resist infections and toxins, depends on the correct functioning of the thymus gland.

Thymus hormones are involved in the formation of the body's response to foreign substances. Natural antigens are subdivided into thymus-dependent and thymus-independent. The main differences between them are presented in the table.

Antigen type Explanation
Thymus dependent The full development of the immune response begins when the thymus T cells are connected to the process
Thymus-independent The immune response can develop in the absence of T lymphocytes

In addition, the thymus gland is involved in metabolism, maintaining skin elasticity and a number of other processes.


Thymosin is a polypeptide that is produced in the reticular cells of the thymus epithelium. Performs the following functions in the body:

  • takes part in the development of the musculoskeletal system;
  • participates in the regulation of carbohydrate and calcium metabolism;
  • stimulates the production of gonadotropins by the pituitary gland.

In addition, an important role of thymosin in the body is to inhibit the growth of tumors.

In children under 15 years of age, thymosin is actively involved in the formation of immunity, since under its action the active production of lymphocytes is carried out.

With a decreased secretion of thymosin, a person can develop T-cell deficiency, which may require the introduction of antibodies, and sometimes bone marrow transplantation, to compensate for this.


The hormone thymulin is called serum thymic factor and is a protein compound. Thymulin secretion is controlled by the pituitary gland. The thymus gland can produce more thymulin under the influence of neuropeptides, glucocorticoids, sex hormones.

The maximum level of thymulin in the blood in a person is observed up to 10 years, after which its concentration begins to gradually decrease until 35 years, in the future, the content of the hormone in the blood practically does not change until the end of life.

Its main functions are:

  • stimulation of the maturation of T-lymphocytes (takes part in the final stage of T-cell differentiation);
  • activation of T-helpers and T-killers;
  • antigen recognition;
  • stimulation of the production of interferons;
  • stimulation of phagocytosis;
  • participation in the processes of tissue regeneration.


Thymopoietin is a peptide that is present in the body in two forms. Both types of this hormone differ from each other in two of the 49 amino acids.

Thymopoietin is involved in the differentiation of T cells of the immune system, which are synthesized in the tissues of the thymus gland. Thymopoietin is capable of both stimulating T-cell activity and suppressing it if necessary. In addition, it is involved in blocking neuromuscular conduction.

The natural decrease in the level of thymopoietin in humans occurs during the aging process. A decrease in the concentration of this biologically active substance in the blood is observed with the removal of the thymus gland (thymectomy), the presence of congenital pathologies, the impact on the body of unfavorable environmental factors. In these situations, the patient's T-cell activity decreases, in some cases, the development of immunodeficiency is possible.

Insulin-like growth factor 1

The thymus produces insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF 1), the structure of which resembles that of insulin. IGF 1 is involved in the endocrine, paracrine and autocrine regulation of growth processes, differentiation of cells and tissues of the human body.

This biologically active substance is a growth hormone mediator (provides almost all the physiological effects of growth hormone in peripheral tissues).

Estrogens, androgens, and insulin increase the production of insulin-like growth factor 1, while glucocorticoids decrease it. Most of this substance is produced in adolescence, the lowest level of secretion is observed in children and the elderly.


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Anna Aksenova
Anna Aksenova

Anna Aksenova Medical journalist About the author

Education: 2004-2007 "First Kiev Medical College" specialty "Laboratory Diagnostics".

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