Thymus - The King of Immunity

Thymus: The King of Immunity

Dr.Surya Rao Poodipeddi profile Authored by Dr.Surya Rao Poodipeddi on 12 Mar 2014 - 14:55.

Like Appendix, which is considered a vestigial organ without any functions, human Thymus gland was once thought to be an evolutionary leftover without any usefulness. However, it is now realized that the thymus is an indispensable organ in the human body and is known as King of Immunity.

The thymus gland is pyramid shaped lymphoid organ, shaped like a thyme leaf and hence the name Thymus. It’s a mass of yellow-gray tissue about the size of a matchbox situated behind and above the upper part of the breastbone. It is like a pyramid in shape with two fused lobes and divided into two portions called the cortex and medulla. 

Most of it is in the anterior mediastenum (the front part of the space between the top of the lungs) almost encroaching the lowest part of the neck as if to raise a dispute between the line of control (LOC) separating the neck and thorax.

Thymus Function: The Thymus plays a multifaceted role. The thymus has different sizes according to the age of the owner. At birth it weighs around 40 gm. At puberty the size increases to about 100 to 120 gm. As age advances it shrinks and weighs roughly 20 gm.

The thymus is the primary gland of the human immune system. It produces defense cells, which gradually decline as age advances making humans more vulnerable to several inflammatory diseases and infections.

In other words, Thymus controls the power of immunity in the human body, manufacturing defense cells to fight against intruders like bacteria, viruses, a splinter or a cut in the finger, fungi, cancer cells, poisonous substances and transplanted skins (the list is unending apropos to its name the king of immunity).

Like a general in the army who plans a strategy to know everything about the enemy, its weakness, its power and their weaponry, the thymus first helps locating the invaders. It achieves this by creating a special type of  T- 4 helper white blood cells whose job is to locate the invaders in any part of the body. It also sends T- 8 killer white blood cells to find and destroy them. Like a true army General, the thymus organizes the defense mechanism and mobilizes the army of defense cells wherever they are required. It serves as a controlling authority and produces an important hormone called Thymosin.

Thymosin when let lose in the blood stream, has a stimulating effect on the entire immunity system, waking up the spleen and warning the lymphatic system to produce more lymphocytes to fight against the army of intruders in the body.

During a radiation treatment for cancer, the ill effects of radiation may wipe off the entire immune system.  But not with the presence of thymosin, which mobilizes the immune system with the help of bone marrow, spleen and the lymphatic system to increase the production of phagocytes in order to nullify the harmful effects of radiation. Without thymus, the body becomes a slave and surrenders to the invading intruders. Thymus is known to fight against the virus, which causes Hepatitis C and completely eradicates the disease from the body.

When a child is born the thymus is too small to cope with the evil intentions of intruders. The newborn is without the power of immunity to fight against the intruding bacteria and viruses. But, as the child grows, the immune system like the spleen, bone marrow and lymphatic system develop. By now, the thymus has learnt how to mobilize the army to fight against the invading organisms.

The thymus grows in size from its birth size to almost six times the size, by the time puberty sets in. This is when it is crowned as the king of the human immunity system. It fights against every known intruder. It traps the invaders by surrounding them, with trusted phagocytes.

As age advances beyond 50 years, it shrinks in size, becomes less powerful leading to weak defense mechanism.  However, scientists have succeeded in bringing out a technology to manufacture thymus extracts containing thymosin, to continue to perform its role as a defender of infections.

Nat Cell frozen Thymus extract will deliver the best possible results in combating Hepatitis C virus and completely eradicate the disease.

Viruses, bacteria or fungi cause many of the inflammatory conditions of the liver. Cellular immunity against these agents is the chief defense mechanism. Successful results are claimed with treatment by using thymus extracts.

This once insignificant and unrecognized organ weighing as little as 30 to 40 gm at birth, has achieved the status of a king in controlling the immune system of the human body. Hence, aptly called the king of immunity !

 

*Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. The content is for educational purposes only. Please contact your doctor for any health care issues.