With the increasing use of bone marrow transplantation, (BMT) in cancer and in the advent of AIDS, it has been realized that successful reconstitution of the immune system of the adult is of paramount concern. Naive T cell production in the host requires T cell development in the thymus of the adult. Due to the impairment of thymus function with age, there has been renewed interest in utilizing neuroendocrine hormones (i.e. growth hormone or GH) to restore thymopoietic function. GH has been previously demonstrated to improve T cell function and affect thymopoiesis in mice. Recent studies indicate that GH is not an obligate growth factor for thymopoiesis but instead acts to counteract the effects of stress on the thymus. Thus, GH may be of potential use to enhance thymus function and T cell repopulation, particularly after myeloablative procedures such as BMT or where peripheral T cell pools are depleted as in AIDS.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology