Thymic involution and immune reconstitution
Fibroblast Growth Factor 7
Gonadal Steroid Hormones
Chronic thymus involution associated with aging results in less efficient T-cell development and decreased emigration of naïve T cells to the periphery. Thymic decline in the aged is linked to increased morbidity and mortality in a wide range of clinical settings. Negative consequences of these effects on global health make it of paramount importance to understand the mechanisms driving thymic involution and homeostatic processes across the lifespan. There is growing evidence that thymus tissue is plastic and that the involution process might be therapeutically halted or reversed. We present here progress on the exploitation of thymosuppressive and thymostimulatory pathways using factors such as keratinocyte growth factor, interleukin 7 or sex steroid ablation for therapeutic thymus restoration and peripheral immune reconstitution in adults.