Open Access
Thymosin-alpha1 promotes the apoptosis of regulatory T cells and survival rate in septic mice
Jian Wan1,Yi Shan1,Hongwei Shan1,Guomin Li1,Tao Wang1,Jun Guan1,Xuefeng Liu1,Dechang Chen1,Wenfang Li1,Zhaofen Lin1
Department of emergency and critical care medicine, Shanghai Changzheng Hospital, The Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, 200003, China
DOI: 10.2741/3894 Volume 16 Issue 8, pp.3004-3013
Published: 01 June 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunoregulation and inflammatory disease)

Tregs are involved in immune disorder during sepsis; they can lead to a Th2 immune reaction. Their inhibitory effects can help alleviate inflammatory injury, but may also cause secondary immune inhibition. Thymosin-alpha1 is a polypeptide with powerful immunomodulatory activities. Current reports have shown that Thymosin-alpha1 conferred beneficial effects to septic patients. To explore the relationship between Thymosin-alpha1 and Tregs, in this study, we investigated the changing trend in CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) T lymphocytes in a CLP septic mouse model. We also investigated the variation of apoptotic rate of CD4(+)CD25(+) T lymphocytes, cytokine variation, and change of model survival rate when Thymosin-alpha1 intervening or not. We observed that the 72-h survival rate was improved, the percentage of CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) T lymphocytes decreased and the apoptosis rate of CD4(+)CD25(+) T lymphocytes increased after intervention of Thymosin-alpha1. At same time the expression of pro-inflammation cytokines IL-2, TNF-alpha and anti-inflammatory cytokines IL-10 and TGF-beta were regulated. In conclusion, Thymosin-alpha1 can effectively control the inflammatory response intensity and improve the 72-h survival rate of septic mice. Regulating Tregs may be another important role of Thymosin-alpha1 conditioning the immune reaction in sepsis.

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Jian Wan, Yi Shan, Hongwei Shan, Guomin Li, Tao Wang, Jun Guan, Xuefeng Liu, Dechang Chen, Wenfang Li, Zhaofen Lin. Thymosin-alpha1 promotes the apoptosis of regulatory T cells and survival rate in septic mice. Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark. 2011. 16(8); 3004-3013.