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NEUROENDOCRINOLOGY LETTERS
including Psychoneuroimmunology, Neuropsychopharmacology,
Reproductive Medicine, Chronobiology
and Human Ethology, ISSN 0172–780X

NEL Vol.24 Nos.3/4, Jun-Aug 2003

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Running Title:
Hormonal function and proliferative activity of thymic cells in humans: Immunocytochemical correlations

2003; 24:263–267
pii: NEL243403A19
PMID: 14523368

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Hormonal function and proliferative activity of thymic cells in humans:
Immunocytochemical correlations

Igor M. Kvetnoy,1 Victoria O. Polyakova,2 Alexander V. Trofimov,2 Vadim V. Yuzhakov,3 Alexander A. Yarilin,4 Emma S. Kurilets, 3 Ludmila N. Mikhina, 3 Nina I. Sharova 4
& Maria F. Nikonova 4

1. Ott Institute of Obstetrics and Gynecology, St. Petersburg, Russia
2. St. Petersburg Institute of Bioregulation and Gerontology, St. Petersburg, Russia
3. Medical Radiological Research Center, Obninsk, Russia
4. Institute of Immunology, Moscow, Russia

Submitted: April 24, 2003
Accepted: May 21, 2003

Key words:
thymus, immunocytochemistry, hormone’ expression, epithelial cells, proliferation of thymocytes

 

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The immunocytochemical study of the localization of hormones in thymic cells has been performed to clarify possible correlations of their expression with proliferative activity of thymocytes.

METHODS: We used commercial antibodies to serotonin, melatonin, somatostatin, glucagon, gastrin, beta-endorphin and histamine, and ABP or BSP kits for visualization of reaction. Computer image analysis was used to find correlations between hormone production and proliferative activity of thymocytes.
RESULTS: Different subpopulations of thymocytes are able to produce hormones: precursors of T-lymphocytes (CD4–CD8–) contain serotonin and melatonin, immature cortical cells (CD4+CD8+) produce only serotonin, mature medullar cells (CD4+CD8–) show immunoreactivity to serotonin, melatonin, beta-endorphin and histamine. The expression of serotonin, somatostatin and gastrin is localized in thymic epithelial cells, formatting Gassal’s bodies. Proliferative activity of thymocytes depends from the expression of serotonin and somatostatin in thymic cells.

CONCLUSION: The data received testify the expression of different hormones in human thymic cells and showing by this fact high endocrine activity of thymus. The presence of correlations between hormonal expression and cell proliferative activity could be considered as the bright illustration of important role of neuroimmunoendocrine mechanisms in the regulation of local thymic homeostasis.

 

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