Thymic recovery following chemotherapy damage – the impact of sex hormones and ageing
thesisposted on 06.05.2022, 02:27 by ABDULAZIZ ABDULMOHSIN M ALSHARIF
The thymus generates T cells which are essential for immune competence. Paradoxically thymus function declines during ageing, leading to increased cancer, opportunistic infections and poor responses to vaccination. Chemotherapy further damages the thymus, exacerbating infection susceptibility. In this thesis, we identified a greater rate of thymus degeneration in males compared to females, and accordingly poor thymus recovery following chemotherapy. This important sexual dimorphism underpinned development of a novel clinically applicable approach to enhancing thymus function: luteinising hormone releasing hormone receptor antagonist to temporarily block sex steroids. This promoted thymic recovery, heralding an important new therapeutic strategy for overcoming immunodeficiency.