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Thymosin Beta-4 (TB-500) – An Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Peptide
What is Thymosin Beta-4?
Thymosin Beta-4 is a central actin-sequestering molecule. It is undergoing extensive investigation.
Thymosin is the hormonal product of the thymus gland. The thymus is a gland in the chest that produces white blood cells called the T-lymphocytes. It, therefore, is involved in immune system regulation and healing processes.
Thymosin Beta-4 (TB-500), a multi-functional product of the thymus, plays a significant role in the healing and repair processes of the body. It protects tissues that have been exposed to injury and promotes regeneration and repair in damaged tissues.
It finds use in acute injuries, post-surgical wound healing, and repair. After a myocardial infarction episode, it has also improved heart function due to its tissue healing properties.
How Does Thymosin Beta-4 Work?
Thymosin Beta-4 is present in the smooth muscles of the heart and the body’s skeletal muscles. Any injury to these tissues activates a pathway where Thymosin Beta-4 is upregulated as a response. The increased levels of Thymosin Beta-4 initiate an anti-inflammatory response in the body. It acts to expedite the wound healing process and reduce scar formation due to the injury. In the skeletal muscle, TB-500 relieves spasms, improves flexibility and muscle tone, and reduces joint inflammation. Research has also proven its role in vascularization after injury and reducing the risk of adhesion formation.
Thymosin Beta-4 binds to actin and promotes cell migration, including the mobilization, migration, and differentiation of stem/progenitor cells, forming new blood vessels and regenerating tissue. Thymosin Beta-4 also decreases the number of myofibroblasts in wounds, resulting in decreased scar formation and fibrosis.
Benefits of Thymosin-Beta 4
Many ongoing types of research have proven the extensive benefits of Thymosin Beta-4 use. Some of these include:
TB-500 administration in various animal models has shown significant improvement in corneal healing. When administered in the form of eye drops in human clinical trials, Thymosin Beta-4 was shown to have significantly reduced the symptomatology of moderate to severe dry eye syndrome (DES) without any adverse side effects recorded. DES is a troublesome condition characterized by dry and itchy eyes. It is often associated with long exposures to screens.
Its use has therefore been implicated in people suffering from various eye conditions. These include recurrent corneal erosions, chemical burns, corneal transplants, and in patients undergoing photorefractive keratectomy.
By suppressing interleukin-8 production after its stimulation by tumor necrosis factor-alpha, Thymosin Beta-4 acts as an anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic factor on gingival fibroblasts. It can therefore improve gum and overall oral health.
The hypoxic cardiac disease leads to high mortality and has increasing prevalence. It is a cause of concern for researchers. Hypoxic cardiac injury often results from myocardial infarction (MI). It leads to a reduction in blood supply to the heart.
Thymosin Beta-4 has shown positive results when used in these cardiovascular events. It has proved effective in restoring the cardiac function in a hypoxic heart owing to its ability to inhibit death signals to the cardiac myocytes. It also has shown significant angiogenic properties. In addition, it has anti-fibrotic properties. It is also effective in reducing the size of the myocardial infarct. Preclinical trials have yielded positive results in terms of cardiac function improvement.
Thymosin Beta-4 is beneficial as a neuroprotective molecule in various nervous system pathologies.
It plays a neuroprotective role in conditions like Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, focal ischemia, or hippocampal denervation disease.
It reverses nervous or brain damage initiated by an auto-immune pathology.
In severely septic rats, Thymosin Beta-4 improves mortality when administered intravenously.
Sepsis is a potentially lethal response of the body to an infection that, in almost all cases, results in organ damage and failure. The improvement in mortality from sepsis by Thymosin Beta-4 administration has been attributed to its potent anti-inflammatory response. Thymosin Beta-4 reduces the inflammatory mediators and reactive oxygen species and upregulates all anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic, and anti-oxidative mediators.
Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease has a high mortality rate. Research has proven Thymosin Beta-4 as a biomarker of liver function. This effect is because various studies have shown an increased expression of TB-500 in healthy and functioning livers. Its reduced concentrations have been linked with diseased states of the liver. For example, in the patients with chronic liver disease associated with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, serum and tissue expression of TB-500 was reduced.
TB-500 plays a protective role in the liver by its anti-inflammatory properties and anti-oxidative effects.
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.