Impact of the Somatotrope Growth Hormone (GH)/Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1) Axis Upon Thymus Function: Pharmacological Implications in Regeneration of Immune Functions

Lindsay Goffinet, Marie Mottet, Hamid Kermani, Chantal Renard-Charlet, Vincent Geenen, Henri J. Martens
2011 Immunology, Endocrine & Metabolic Agents in Medicinal Chemistry  
The thymus is the central lymphoid structure where T-cell differentiation takes place, and a crucial organ for the maintenance of homeostasis in the immune system. Thymopoiesis includes intrathymic proliferation of T-cell precursors, selection and output of both self-tolerant and competent effector T cells, as well as of natural regulatory T cells (nTreg). In the crosstalk between the neuroendocrine and immune systems, peptide hormones have been more and more implicated in immunomodulation for
more » ... he last thirty years. The somatotrope growth hormone (GH)/insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) axis in particular has been repeatedly shown to play a major regulatory role upon thymus function and T-cell development. This review will focus on the important thymotropic properties of the somatotrope GH/IGF-1 axis, and will try to discriminate these properties in function of the endocrine or paracrine/autocrine pathways involved in their mediation. Most importantly, in light of an increasing number of recent studies, GH and IGF-1 now appear as novel therapeutic agents that could be used for enhancing thymopoiesis in different cases of immune deficiencies, including aging-related immune dysfunction.
doi:10.2174/187152211794519421 fatcat:ndp6goc3efh4tccduyb4dqb52u