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Neuro-immune modulation of the thymus microenvironment (Review)

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The thymus is the primary site for T-cell lympho­poiesis. Its function includes the maturation and selection of antigen specific T cells and selective release of these cells to the periphery. These highly complex processes require precise parenchymal organization and compartmentation where a plethora of signalling pathways occur, performing strict control on the maturation and selection processes of T lymphocytes. In this review, the main morphological characteristics of the thymus microenvironment, with particular emphasis on nerve fibers and neuropeptides were assessed, as both are responsible for neuro-immunemodulation functions. Among several neurotransmitters that affect thymus function, we highlight the dopaminergic system as only recently has its importance on thymus function and lymphocyte physiology come to light.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Human Anatomy, School of Drug and Health Products Science, University of Camerino, Ι-62032 Camerino, Italy 2: Human Anatomy, Department of Health Sciences, University of Eastern Piedmont Amedeo Avogadro, I-28100 Novara, Italy 3: Department of Anatomical, Histological, Medico-legal and Locomotor System Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, Ι-00185 Rome, Italy 4: Department of Sensory Organs, Sapienza University of Rome, Ι-00185 Rome, Italy

Publication date: June 1, 2014

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  • The International Journal of Molecular Medicine is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the publication of high quality studies related to the molecular mechanisms of human disease. The journal welcomes research on all aspects of molecular and clinical research, ranging from biochemistry to immunology, pathology, genetics, human genomics, microbiology, molecular pathogenesis, molecular cardiology, molecular surgery and molecular psychology.

    The International Journal of Molecular Medicine aims to provide an insight for researchers within the community in regard to developing molecular tools and identifying molecular targets for the diagnosis and treatment of a diverse number of human diseases.
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