Thymic hormone preparations have been shown to modulate natural killer (NK) activity in vivo in mice. We have investigated the effects of thymosin fraction 5 (TF5) on the in vitro NK cell activity of highly purified human large granular lymphocytes (LGL). The results indicate that TF5 but not kidney fraction 5 (a preparation used as control) is able to enhance the spontaneous NK activity of normal LGL. In addition, TF5 exhibited additive effects with recombinant interferon-alpha in enhancing NK activity in vitro. TF5 also enhanced interleukin 2 production and interleukin 2 receptor expression as well as interferon-gamma production in mitogen-stimulated LGL. Thymosin-alpha 1, a synthetic polypeptide originally isolated in its native form from TF5, also exhibited enhancing effects on LGL activities, suggesting that it is the active species in TF5. These results indicate that thymic hormones might regulate NK activity through the induction of lymphokine production and receptor expression by LGL.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.