The thymus-adrenal connection: Thymosin has corticotropin-releasing activity in primates

David L. Healy, Gary D. Hodgen, Heinrich M. Schulte, George P. Chrousos, D. Lynn Loriaux, Nicholas R. Hall, Allan L. Goldstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


Endotoxin-free thymosin fraction 5 elevated corticotropin, β-endorphin, and cortisol in a dose- and time-dependent fashion when administered intravenously to prepubertal cynomolgus monkeys. Two synthetic component peptides of thymosin fraction 5 had no acute effects on pituitary function, suggesting that some other peptides in thymosin fraction 5 were responsible for its corticotropin-releasing activity. In agreement with these observations, total thymectomy of juvenile macaques was associated with decreases in plasma cortisol, corticotropin, and β-endorphin. These findings indicate that the prepubertal primate thymus contains corticotropin-releasing activity that may contribute to a physiological immunoregulatory circuit between the developing immunological and pituitary-adrenal systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1353-1355
Number of pages3
Issue number4630
StatePublished - 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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