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Thymosin Alpha-1 – Improve Antiviral Immune Responses
Antigen, Antibody, and Lymphocytic White Blood Cell Recruitment
The most important point to be considered is that the Thymosin Alpha 1 is tolerated well and does not over-stimulate the production of cytokines. Another advantage of this agent is that, unlike the other similar agents such as interleukin-2 and interferon-alpha, this agent is not responsible for any toxicities or side effects and is considered safe.
For treating cancer and immunodeficiency patients, Thymosin Alpha-1 was undergone clinical trials. It demonstrated that the agent enhances the responsiveness of the immune system, is not toxic, and also augments the functioning of specific lymphocytes, which includes the maturation of T cells, T cell-mediated cytotoxicity, production of antibiotics and lymphoproliferative responses to mitogens.
The other functions include the increased activity of the Natural Killer Cells, an increase in the level of cytotoxic T cells, and the expression of Th1 type cytokines. During the development of the T cells, selected antigens are expressed sequentially. This depicts the pathway of the differentiation of the T cells from the stem cells in the bone marrow to the maturation of thymocytes in the thymus, ultimately causing the diversion of the helper CD4+ cells and the CD8 cytotoxic suppressor cell sublineages, and these are then further differentiated in the peripheral lymphoid tissues.
The experiments conducted in human thymocytes and mouse cells have shown that the Thymosin Alpha-1 can cause a reduction in the apoptosis of the immune cells. These experiments have also shown that in the immunosuppressed mice, stem cell expansion was increased. In addition, the thymopoetic cytokines IL-15, IL-7, and IFN-alpha were also observed to increase by the Thymosin Alpha-1.
The effectiveness of the Thymosin Alpha-1 can be explained by the different immunological effects where an enhanced or stimulated immune response is needed for health outcomes. In cases like cancers and bacterial, fungal, and viral infections and also in cases where the immunocompromised subjects like individuals with renal failure or the older adults are vaccinated. Tumors and the cells infected with the virus were killed when the CD8 cytotoxic Tc1 cells, CD4 helper Th1 cells, and NK cells acted in cooperation with each other. The killing of fungal and bacterial infections and the anti-tumor and antiviral responses were also provided by the activated Dendritic Cells. Another effect of the activated Dendritic Cells was an enhanced efficiency in the antigen presentation to increase antibody production. This particular effect of the Thymosin Alpha-1 is more important in those immunocompromised elderly individuals who are unable to respond effectively to vaccination.
The molecules with the ability to stimulate the immune responses are called Antigens. Due to the difference in the epitopes or the surface features, every antigen gives a specific response. The immune system’s B cells produce the Y-shaped proteins, which are known as Antibodies or Immunoglobulins, in response to the antigen’s exposure.
Different experimental models demonstrated that Ta1 successfully ameliorated intestinal inflammation and respiratory allergy by promoting Treg cells and inducing IDO1. Hence, the immunomodulatory and therapeutic properties of Ta1 can also include the maintenance of diplomatic relations between microbial communities and mammals.
The regulatory T cells’ producers, FoxP3 IL-10, increase as a result of the IDO stimulation. This increase results in cytokine production’s feedback inhibition, thereby suppressing the response of the immune system to avert a storm of pro-inflammatory cytokines and the autoimmune phenomena.
Exogenous and endogenous TLR agonists may undergo collaborative interactions, resulting in novel reciprocal trends of the surveillance of the immune system and the effector mechanisms helping in the safe disposal of the pathogens, which may help in the effective prevention of tissue injury and excessive inflammatory responses.
Thymosin Alpha-1 Enhancing Immunosurveillance
Thymosin Alpha-1 disables the virus’s immune system cloaking techniques by boosting the production of MHCs. In addition to modulating the expression of cytokines and activating the immune effector cells, T1 also exerts direct effects on the target cells. It can increase the visibility of the viral antigens to the immune system by expanding their expression on the surface of infected target cells, depressing the viral replication and thereby decreasing their ability to escape the immune surveillance.
Experiments have shown that Ta1 tends to increase the protein expression on the surface of tumor cells or virally infected cells and also the ones that mediate the presentation of the antigens like the beta two microglobulins, MHC Class 1, MHC Class 2 as well as the antigens specific to tumors. The downregulation of the antigen-presenting molecules is thought to be the reason for the immune escape by the tumor cells and the virally infected cells.
They partially restored mucociliary clearance, which means the cilia cleared the mucus.
As a response to the treatment with Ta1 and the CFTR is modulating drugs, a partially restored ciliary beating was detected by the multi DDM.
HAECs were obtained from the three varied subjects homozygous for the F508del/ F508del mutation in CFTR and were further treated with Ta1 at 100 ng/ml concentration for the duration of 48 hrs. A comparison was made with the same cells treated with the vehicle-only control. The decrease indicates the partial restoration of the normal ciliary beating dynamics in the coordination length scale due to the treatment with all three substances. The results were consistent with the role of these substances reported earlier in modulating the CFTR functionality in CF cells.
Evidence of ACE Inhibition combating Viral Pneumonia by Boosting ACE2
It was determined that Tha1 shows inhibitory effects on the angiotensin-converting enzyme. Examination of the inhibition pattern and the kinetic parameters like Km and Vmax was done. The maximum inhibition pattern was displayed by Tha1 when analyzed based on the Lineweaver Burk plot. 3.33 µM and 0.8 µM were the values for Ki and IC50 of Tha1, respectively. The interaction of Tha1 with ACE enzyme (C- and N- domains) due to the hydrogen, hydrophobic and electrostatic forces was indicated by molecular docking. The binding of Tha1 to ACE domains was suggested by molecular modeling. It was demonstrated that the binding was with a higher affinity to the N- domain with the binding energy of -22.87 kcal/mol.
The study included human patients infected with viral pneumonia, and an association was demonstrated with an improved outcome in the patients who continued the use of ACEi during viral pneumonia. In cases of viral pneumonia from H7N9 influenza virus pneumonia, the importance of ACE2 was demonstrated in an animal study (in mice) and published in scientific reports, which showed the worst pathology and survival in ACE2 KO mice. The results thereby demonstrated the potential benefits of ACE2 in viral-mediated lung injury, presumably from the removal of generation of Ang 1-7 and Ang II.
Thymosin Alpha-1 stimulates endothelial cell migration, angiogenesis, and wound healing.
An enhancement of the morphological differentiation of endothelial cells was shown by Tha1, which is a 28 amino acid peptide isolated initially from the thymus. It was also shown that Tha1 is a potent chemoattractant for the monocytes and endothelial cells in vitro. In a subcutaneous model (in vivo studies), Tha1 was shown to stimulate angiogenesis. In a punch model, when Tha1 was administered through i.p. or topically, the wound healing was accelerated, demonstrating that Tha1 promotes wound healing and angiogenesis.
Synergy from Combining Thymosin Alpha-1
IFN-α2b alone was compared with the combination of IFN-α2b and Tha1. One trial showed that after a duration of 6 months, 71% of the patients receiving combination therapy had normal serum ALT levels, while only 35% of the patients receiving IFN-α2b alone showed normal serum ALT levels. 65% of the patients treated with combination therapy showed the clearance of Hepatitis C Virus RNA, while the same was demonstrated in only 29% of the patients treated with IFN-α2b alone.
Thymosin Alpha-1 Powerful Anti Oxidation
The intracellular Glutathione (GTH), which has important antiviral effects and shows the direct inhibition of the in vitro growth of cancer and virally infected cells, increases after Tha1 treatment. Highly efficient effects of Tha1 were shown to eliminate superoxide radicals when compared with the antioxidant assays.
Disclaimer: The products mentioned are not for human or animal consumption. All the information shared in this article is for educational purposes only.
Dr. Usman (BSc, MBBS, MaRCP) completed his studies in medicine at the Royal College of Physicians, London. He is an avid researcher with more than 30 publications in internationally recognized peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Usman has worked as a researcher and a medical consultant for reputable pharmaceutical companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi.