|Other names||Thymic hyperplasia|
|Specialty|| Immunology |
Thymus hyperplasia refers to an enlargement ("hyperplasia") of the thymus.
It is not always a disease state. The size of the thymus usually peaks during adolescence and atrophies in the following decades. Before the immune function of the thymus was well understood, the enlargement was sometimes seen as a cause for alarm, and justification for surgical reduction. This approach is much less common today.
It can be associated with myasthenia gravis.MRI can be used to distinguish it from thymoma.
The thymus is a specialized primary lymphoid organ of the immune system. Within the thymus, Thymus cell lymphocytes or T cells mature. T cells are critical to the adaptive immune system, where the body adapts specifically to foreign invaders. The thymus is located in the upper front part of the chest, in the anterior superior mediastinum, behind the sternum, and in front of the heart. It is made up of two lobes, each consisting of a central medulla and an outer cortex, surrounded by a capsule.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also called prostate enlargement, is a noncancerous increase in size of the prostate gland. Symptoms may include frequent urination, trouble starting to urinate, weak stream, inability to urinate, or loss of bladder control. Complications can include urinary tract infections, bladder stones, and chronic kidney problems.
Primary aldosteronism (PA), also known as primary hyperaldosteronism or Conn's syndrome, refers to the excess production of the hormone aldosterone from the adrenal glands, resulting in low renin levels. This abnormality is caused by hyperplasia or tumors. Many suffer from fatigue, potassium deficiency and high blood pressure which may cause poor vision, confusion or headaches. Symptoms may also include: muscular aches and weakness, muscle spasms, low back and flank pain from the kidneys, trembling, tingling sensations, numbness and excessive urination. Complications include cardiovascular disease such as stroke, myocardial infarction, kidney failure and abnormal heart rhythms.
Graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) is a syndrome, characterized by inflammation in different organs, with the specificity of epithelial cell apoptosis and crypt drop out. GvHD is commonly associated with bone marrow transplants and stem cell transplants. GvHD also applies to other forms of transplanted tissues such as solid organ transplants.
Thymosins are small proteins present in many animal tissues. They are named thymosins because they were originally isolated from the thymus, but most are now known to be present in many other tissues. Thymosins have diverse biological activities, and two in particular, thymosins α1 and β4, have potentially important uses in medicine, some of which have already progressed from the laboratory to the clinic. In relation to diseases, thymosins have been categorized as biological response modifiers.
Toxic multinodular goiter (TMNG), also known as multinodular toxic goiter (MNTG), is an active multinodular goiter associated with hyperthyroidism.
Tertiary Hyperparathyroidism is a condition involving the overproduction of the hormone, parathyroid hormone, produced by the parathyroid glands. The parathyroid glands are involved in monitoring and regulating blood calcium levels and respond by either producing or ceasing to produce parathyroid hormone. Anatomically, these glands are located in the neck, Para-lateral to the thyroid gland, which does not have any influence in the production of parathyroid hormone. Parathyroid hormone is released by the parathyroid glands in response to low blood calcium circulation. Persistent low levels of circulating calcium are thought to be the catalyst in the progressive development of adenoma in the parathyroid glands resulting in primary hyperparathyroidism. While primary hyperparathyroidism is the most common form of this condition, secondary and tertiary are thought to result due to chronic kidney disease (CKD). Estimates of CKD prevalence in the global community range from 11-13% which translate to a large portion of the global population at risk of developing tertiary hyperparathyroidism. Tertiary hyperparathyroidism was first described in the late 1960s and had been misdiagnosed as primary prior to this. Unlike primary hyperparathyroidism, the tertiary form presents as a progressive stage of resolved secondary hyperparathyroidism with biochemical hallmarks that include elevated calcium ion levels in the blood, hypercalcemia, along with autonomous production of parathyroid hormone and adenoma in all four parathyroid glands. Upon diagnosis treatment of tertiary hyperparathyroidism usually leads to a surgical intervention.
Nezelof syndrome is an autosomal recessive congenital immunodeficiency condition due to underdevelopment of the thymus. The defect is a type of purine nucleoside phosphorylase deficiency with inactive phosphorylase, this results in an accumulation of deoxy-GTP which inhibits ribonucleotide reductase. Ribonucleotide reductase catalyzes the formation of deoxyribonucleotides from ribonucleotides, thus, DNA replication is inhibited.
A Thymocyte is an immune cell present in the thymus, before it undergoes transformation into a T cell. Thymocytes are produced as stem cells in the bone marrow and reach the thymus via the blood. Thymopoiesis describes the process which turns thymocytes into mature T cells according to either negative or positive selection. This selection process is vitally important in shaping the population of thymocytes into a peripheral pool of T cells that are able to respond to foreign pathogens but remain tolerant towards the body's own antigens. Positive selection selects cells which are able to bind MHC class I or II molecules with at least a weak affinity. This eliminates those T cells which would be non-functional due to an inability to bind MHC. Negative selection destroys thymocytes with a high affinity for self peptides or MHC. This eliminates cells which would direct immune responses towards self-proteins in the periphery. Negative selection is not 100% effective, and some autoreactive T cells escape and are released into the circulation. Additional mechanisms of peripheral tolerance exist to silence these cells, but if these fail, autoimmunity may arise.
The autoimmune regulator (AIRE) is a protein that in humans is encoded by the AIRE gene. It is a 13kb gene on chromosome 21q22.3 that has 545 amino acids. AIRE is a transcription factor expressed in the medulla of the thymus. It is part of the mechanism which eliminates self-reactive T cells that would cause autoimmune disease. It exposes T cells to normal, healthy proteins from all parts of the body, and T cells that react to those proteins are destroyed.
The tonsils are a set of lymphoid organs facing into the aerodigestive tract, which is known as Waldeyer's tonsillar ring and consists of the adenoid tonsil, two tubal tonsils, two palatine tonsils, and the lingual tonsils. These organs play an important role in the immune system.
Endometrial hyperplasia is a condition of excessive proliferation of the cells of the endometrium, or inner lining of the uterus.
Gingival enlargement is an increase in the size of the gingiva (gums). It is a common feature of gingival disease. Gingival enlargement can be caused by a number of factors, including inflammatory conditions and the side effects of certain medications. The treatment is based on the cause. A closely related term is epulis, denoting a localized tumor on the gingiva.
Thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) is a protein belonging to the cytokine family. It is known to play an important role in the maturation of T cell populations through activation of antigen presenting cells.
CD205 also called Lymphocyte antigen 75 is a protein that in humans is encoded by the LY75 gene.
Thymulin is a nonapeptide produced by two distinct epithelial populations in the thymus first described by Bach in 1977. It requires zinc for biological activity. Its peptide sequence is H-Pyr-Ala-Lys-Ser-Gln-Gly-Gly-Ser-Asn-OH.
Lymphocyte T-cell immunomodulator (LTCI) is an immune regulating polypeptide, which is a potent regulator of CD-4 lymphocyte production and function. It increases lymphocyte numbers and interleukin-2 (IL-2) production in animals. It is extracted from bovine thymus.
Involution is the shrinking or return of an organ to a former size. At a cellular level, involution is characterized by the process of proteolysis of the basement membrane, leading to epithelial regression and apoptosis, with accompanying stromal fibrosis. The consequent reduction in cell number and reorganization of stromal tissue leads to the reduction in the size of the organ.
One of the major characteristics of vertebrate immunology is thymic involution, the shrinking (involution) of the thymus with age, resulting in changes in the architecture of the thymus and a decrease in tissue mass. This process is genetically regulated, with the nucleic material responsible being an example of a conserved sequence — one maintained through natural selection since it arose in a common ancestor of all species now exhibiting it, via a phenomenon known to bioinformaticists as an orthologic sequence homology. The thymus involutes in almost all vertebrates, from birds, teleosts, amphibians to reptiles, though the thymi of a few species of sharks are known not to involute. T-cells are named for the thymus where T-lymphocytes migrate from the bone marrow to mature. Its regression has been linked to the reduction in immunosurveillance and the rise of infectious disease and cancer incidence in the elderly . Though thymic involution has been linked to immunosenescence, it is not induced by senescence as the organ starts involuting from a young age: in humans, as early as the first year after birth.
Thymus transplantation is a form of organ transplantation where the thymus is moved from one body to another.
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