Thymosin alpha 1 is classified as a thymic endogenous peptide, is comprised of 28 amino acids, and is naturally produced by the thymus. Thymosin alpha 1 is N-terminally acetylated, processed proteolytically from prothymosin, which is then spilt by legumain, a lysosomal endopeptidase found in mammals. Legumain as well as thymosin alpha 1, are apportioned together throughout many tissues in the body. In particular, lymphoid tissue, has been shown to have elevated levels of both thymosin alpha 1 and legumain.
T cells, also known as immune cells, and are critical to immunity in the body. T cells, mature in the thymus and are released by signaling from the thymosin alpha 1 peptide. As a result, the immune cells seek out and destroy foreign damaging agents in the body. Thymosin alpha 1 peptides have demonstrated their ability in being able to boost particular T and dendritic cells, which play a vital role as defenses to those with reduced immunity and/or an infection.
Thymosin alpha 1, is pleiotropic (produces multiple effects) in character, which can advance innate immunity during times of need, and down regulation of immunity when not required. This thymic peptide has the power to rebuild homeostasis in the immune system through diverse pathological and physiological conditions.
Thymosin alpha 1 is also marketed under the name Zadaxin (thyalfasin), and has been approved for the treatment of cancer as well as hepatitis B and C in more than 30 countries.
Thymosin alpha 1 was originally isolated from the thymus of a calf in early 1970’s. In early studies, it was observed that thymosin alpha 1 peptide was accountable for rebuilding immune function in mice who had been thymectomized. As further studies progressed, it was revealed that thymosin alpha 1 performs a critical part in controlling immunity, inflammation and tolerance in the cells. Immune response is facilitated by thymosin alpha 1 as a primary action on cells, acting akin to an endogenous monitor of adaptive immune and inflammatory responses. A 2016 Italian university study showed that thymosin alpha 1 improved natural killer cell activity when given to mice whose immunity was compromised and/or suppressed by cancer. However, such results were not seen in normal healthy mice.
Due to thymosin alpha 1’s ability to pursue a variety of cells, it has been used alongside vaccines for treatment of many diseases. Some of the diseases that thymosin has been used to treat along with being used as an adjuvant includes:
Current clinical studies using nuclear magnetic spectroscopy, support and even outline a process of action that occurs when thymosin alpha 1 directly interacts with atypical parts of cell membranes, which causes it to activate biological reactions.
Most arthritic and rheumatic diseases have similar characteristics such as irregular release of mediators and serious immunity issues which result in significant body system and organ damage. Some of the most common arthritic and rheumatic diseases include:
The pathophysiology of psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus, suggests that the inflammation is due to a complex cytokine network. This cytokine network, perpetuates the disease by signaling positive feedback loops which includes signaling abnormal, regulatory and unbalanced T cells, thereby encouraging systemic disease.
The general dosage for thymosin alpha 1 peptide is 1.5mg administered subcutaneously, every 3 days. The peptide is quickly absorbed, and reaches its peak with 2 hours and has a half-life of about 2 hours. The following common treatment durations have been reported:
For Zadaxin patients, the typical dosage regimen is 1.6 mg, twice per week for a period of 6 months to a year.
The recommended dosages, administered subcutaneously for thymosin alpha 1 have been reported safe and effective. In peptide has been used for more than 40 years and has shown to be well tolerated by patients, as well as reported to have a very low toxicity profile. Additionally, it has been reported that thymosin alpha 1 is well tolerated in patients with kidney disease requiring hemodialysis and liver disease.
In rare cases, adverse reactions that have been observed include:
Research studies have revealed that people who are fighting infections, exhibit lower levels of both circulating thymosin alpha 1 and suppressed helper T cells when compared with people who are healthy. This is challenging, since recovery from infection requires immune function to be optimal. Supplementing with thymosin alpha 1 peptides can be of great benefit for patients who are experiencing an infection or suffering from an autoimmune disease and are trying to improve their immune system strength.