Thymalin was first isolated as a polypeptide complex from the thymus of calves. It normalizes immune system functions and stimulates regeneration and hematopoiesis processes. The drug’s immunoprotective effect is evident in the restoration of T and B lymphocytes and their subpopulations. Thymalin requires zinc for its biological activity and is involved in T-cell differentiation and enhancing T and NK cell actions. Its peptides, including the dipeptides EW and KE and the tripeptide EDP, have been identified to regulate gene expression and the synthesis of crucial proteins involved in immune responses [R].
The ongoing research into Thymalin and its peptides is promising, with studies exploring its efficacy in various therapeutic areas, including its potential in boosting immune function, fighting heart disease, and regulating sleep-wake cycles. The peptide’s ability to mitigate fever and excess cell death induced by cytokine storms highlights its potential as a significant tool in managing pandemic outbreaks and other immune-related conditions.
Thymalin and Immune System Regulation
Thymalin has shown promise in regulating the immune status of patients, particularly in the context of severe COVID-19 among older individuals. Research indicates that Thymalin can significantly reduce the concentration of C-reactive protein, IL-6, D-dimer, and lactate dehydrogenase in the blood, which are markers associated with inflammation and coagulation. It appears to work by preventing the overproduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines, a phenomenon known as a “cytokine storm” [R].
Thymalin also seems to have a positive impact on the number of blood leukocytes and lymphocytes, important components of the immune system. Thymalin is part of a group that epigenetically regulates gene expression and the synthesis of proteins involved in immunogenesis, meaning it can influence the body’s immune response at a genetic level. Its immunoprotective properties are attributed to the short peptides in its composition, which can penetrate into cell nuclei [R].
Thymalin, Cardiovascular Health and Atherosclerosis
Research has highlighted the geroprotective effects of Thymalin, showing that it led to a reduced incidence of ischemic heart disease clinical manifestations and a decrease in mortality rates among elderly and older persons. This indicates that Thymalin may help improve cardiovascular health and outcomes in this population [R].
Thymalin has been implicated in the regulation of immune and inflammatory responses, which are known to play an important role in atherosclerosis, a major underlying cause of heart disease. Thymalin’s modulating effects on the immune system could influence the progression of atherosclerosis and related cardiovascular events [R].
Effect of Thymalin on Healthy Aging and Lifespan
A study conducted by the St. Petersburg Institute of Bioregulation and Gerontology and the Institute of Gerontology of the Ukrainian Academy of Medical Sciences assessed the geroprotective effects of thymalin on 266 elderly individuals over 6-8 years. The results were promising, showing that thymalin could normalize various critical functions of the human body, including cardiovascular, endocrine, immune, and nervous systems, as well as metabolism and homeostasis.
This normalization led to a significant decrease in the incidence of acute respiratory diseases, ischemic heart disease, hypertension, and deforming osteoarthrosis. A group of patients treated with thymalin in combination with epithalamin annually for 6 years experienced a 4.1 times decrease in mortality rate compared to the control group [R].
Further studies have supported these findings, highlighting thymalin’s potential in immunocorrection and its molecular aspects of biological activity. Thymalin has been shown to reduce the incidence of acute respiratory diseases in elderly and senile people by 2.0–2.4 times. It also demonstrated geroprotective properties in animal experiments and clinical studies, contributing to the restoration of immune system functions and reducing mortality in elderly patients [R].
Thymalin and Cancer
In the context of non-small cell lung cancer, a study highlighted the use of thymalin in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Patients undergoing this combined treatment showed improved survival rates, suggesting that thymalin may enhance the effectiveness of conventional cancer treatments. Thymalin’s mechanism of action involves stimulating the proliferation of T-cell and B-cell subpopulations, important components of the immune system’s defense against malignancies [R].
Thymalin and Psoriasis
A study highlighted the use of Thymalin in combination with traditional therapies for psoriasis patients, leading to normalization of immunity and hemostasis parameters. This improvement in clinical status suggests Thymalin could be a beneficial adjunct therapy for managing psoriasis [R].