Reversal of thymic atrophy

Sian M. Henson, Jeffrey Pido-Lopez, Richard Aspinall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Age-associated thymic atrophy is a key event preceding the inefficient functioning of the immune system, resulting in a diminished capacity to generate new T-cells. This thymic involution has been proposed to be due to changes in the thymic microenvironment resulting in its failure to support thymopoiesis. A key cytokine in the early stages of thymocyte development is IL-7 and expression levels are greatly reduced with age. The ability of IL-7 to restore the immune system by enhancing thymic output remains controversial. In this review, we highlight the advances in molecular approaches used to evaluate recent thymic emigrants and assess the success of these strategies in determining whether IL-7 can lead to immune reconstitution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)673-678
Number of pages6
JournalExperimental Gerontology
Issue number4
Early online date5 Feb 2004
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Atrophy
  • DECs
  • IL-7
  • Thymus
  • TRECs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Ageing
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


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