The full-length Tβ4 polypeptide has been shown to be effective in reducing inflammation . It is also reported that only the 4-AA, amino-terminal peptide of Tβ4, known as Ac-SDKP, can block inflammation . In this study, we used a synthetically human peptide produced copy of a naturally occurring, highly conserved 43-amino acid (MW = 4964 Da) water soluble acidic peptide, originally isolated from bovine thymus tissue . This peptide is produced by Fmoc solid-phase peptide synthesis in accordance with the current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) regulations (21 CFR 210 and 211) of the FDA . An effective healer, Tβ4 can be administered topically on the surface of cells and systemically, through injection [9–11]. In this study, Tβ4 activation by Tβ4 peptide inhibited H2O2-induced production of NO and PGE2, expression of COX-2 and iNOS, and mRNA expression of TNF- α, IL-1β, -6, -8, and -17 in cultured PDLCs. These findings suggested that Tβ4 activation possessed anti-inflammatory activity in PDLCs. These results were consistent with previous in vivo and in vitro studies [9–15]. MAPK is a proline-directed serine/threonine kinase consisting of three-enzyme modules; its targets, inducing ERK, JNK and p38 kinases, are important in cellular signal transduction pathways and exert an anti-inflammatory response [48, 49]. NF-κB is a major transcription factor involved in the release of proteins that mediate the inflammatory response, and the degradation and phosphorylation of Iκ-Bα are necessary to release NF-κB from the cytoplasmic NF-κB/Iκ-Bα complex and allow its subsequent translocation to the nucleus of the cell . In this study, Tβ4 peptide down-regulated the H2O2-triggered activation of the ERK and JNK MAPKs and the NF-κB in PDLCs. These results suggested that the ERK and JNK MAPKs and the NF-κB pathway may be involved in the anti-inflammatory effects of Tβ4 activation in PDLCs. Consistent with our findings, Tβ4 treatment decreased TNF-α-induced NF-κB activation in human corneal epithelial cells .
Beta thymosins are a family of proteins which have in common a sequence of about 40 amino acids similar to the small protein thymosin β4. They are found almost exclusively in multicellular animals. Thymosin β4 was originally obtained from the thymus in company with several other small proteins which although named collectively "thymosins" are now known to be structurally and genetically unrelated and present in many different animal tissues.
Oxytocin is not only correlated with the preferences of individuals to associate with members of their own group, but it is also evident during conflicts between members of different groups. During conflict, individuals receiving nasally administered oxytocin demonstrate more frequent defense-motivated responses toward in-group members than out-group members. Further, oxytocin was correlated with participant desire to protect vulnerable in-group members, despite that individual's attachment to the conflict. Similarly, it has been demonstrated that when oxytocin is administered, individuals alter their subjective preferences in order to align with in-group ideals over out-group ideals. These studies demonstrate that oxytocin is associated with intergroup dynamics. Further, oxytocin influences the responses of individuals in a particular group to those of another group. The in-group bias is evident in smaller groups; however, it can also be extended to groups as large as one's entire country leading toward a tendency of strong national zeal. A study done in the Netherlands showed that oxytocin increased the in-group favoritism of their nation while decreasing acceptance of members of other ethnicities and foreigners. People also show more affection for their country's flag while remaining indifferent to other cultural objects when exposed to oxytocin. It has thus been hypothesized that this hormone may be a factor in xenophobic tendencies secondary to this effect. Thus, oxytocin appears to affect individuals at an international level where the in-group becomes a specific "home" country and the out-group grows to include all other countries.
Kim found that when Americans who carry a particular version of the OXTR gene are more likely to turn to their friends for support when they are distressed. But Koreans react to social stress in a different way – for them, it’s less socially acceptable to turn to friends for support during tough times. And distressed Koreans who carry the same version of OXTR are less likely to seek support from their friends.
Wonderful column. My expertise is the psychology of risk perception, and I have done some reading on oxytocin and trust (not the kind you want to boost in a bar with Liquid Trust – you can the stuff with pheromones – to boost THAT kind of trust). It turns out there is a high concentration of oxytocin receptors on the amygdala, the area of the brain where fear starts. As oxytocin levels go up, the ability of the amygdala to be warry and more mistrustful goes down. I describe this in Ch. 3 of How Risky Is It, Really? Why Our Fears Don’t Always Match the Facts. A few graphs of which are below. I wonder whether the influence of oxytocin on the amygdala might be connected with the finding of the study you write about.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) remains a leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide. No effective pharmacological treatments are available for TBI because all Phase II/III TBI clinical trials have failed. This highlights a compelling need to develop effective treatments for TBI. Endogenous neurorestoration occurs in the brain after TBI, including angiogenesis, neurogenesis, synaptogenesis, oligodendrogenesis and axonal remodeling, which may be associated with spontaneous functional recovery after TBI. However, the endogenous neurorestoration following TBI is limited. Treatments amplifying these neurorestorative processes may promote functional recovery after TBI. Thymosin beta4 (Tβ4) is the major G-actin-sequestering molecule in eukaryotic cells. In addition, Tβ4 has other properties including anti-apoptosis and anti-inflammation, promotion of angiogenesis, wound healing, stem/progenitor cell differentiation, and cell migration and survival, which provide the scientific foundation for the corneal, dermal, and cardiac wound repair multicenter clinical trials. Here, we describe Tβ4 as a neuroprotective and neurorestorative candidate for treatment of TBI.
An estimated 1.4 million people sustain traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year in the United States, and more than 5 million people are coping with disabilities from TBI at an annual cost of more than $56 billion.1 There are no commercially-available pharmacological treatment options available for TBI because all clinical trial strategies have failed.2,3 The disappointing clinical trial results may be due to variability in treatment approaches and heterogeneity of the population of TBI patients.4-9 Another important aspect is that most clinical trial strategies have used drugs that target a single pathophysiological mechanism, although many mechanisms are involved in secondary injury after TBI.4 Neuroprotection approaches have historically been dominated by targeting neuron-based injury mechanisms as the primary or even exclusive focus of the neuroprotective strategy.3 In the vast majority of preclinical studies, the treatment compounds are administered early and, frequently, even before TBI.10,11 Clinically, the administration of a compound early may be problematic because of the difficulty in obtaining informed consent.12
Indeed, the findings that progenitor cells of some form exist both in the regenerative zebrafish heart, and in the hearts of less-regenerative mammals supports this idea. Zebrafish have ostensibly found some method to optimize the activity of progenitor cells, perhaps either by maintaining more cells, or by harboring a more cultivating environment for regeneration. Also, both mammalian and nonmammalian hearts contain an epicardial cell layer, yet zebrafish have found some way to activate the epicardium after injury, a process linked with essential neovascularization of regenerating muscle (Lepilina et al., 2006. This result points to the adult mammalian epicardium as a potential cellular source to assist myocardial regeneration or survival. Indeed, mammalian myocardial infarcts typically show poor or insufficient neovascularization, a response that many are trying to improve experimentally. Recent findings have indicated that the G-actin sequestering protein, Thymosin-ß4, may influence the mammalian epicardium. Treatment of adult cardiac explants with Thymosin-ß4 induced the migration of fibroblasts, endothelial and smooth muscle cells as assessed by gene expression and cellular morphology (Smart et al., 2007). In addition, in vivo Thymosin-ß4 treatment could partially restore cardiac survival and function following coronary ligation (Bock-Marquette et al., 2004). Notably, Thymosin-ß4 expression is induced in the injured zebrafish heart, suggesting that fish naturally release this epicardial stimulant on injury (Lien et al., 2006).
I am not a doctor and this is not to be taken, interpreted or construed as medical advice. Please talk with a licensed medical professional about this. These are just my own personal thoughts and not a prescription or a diagnosis or any form of health care whatsoever. In terms of doctors, here are a few directories that may help you find a good functional medicine or naturopathic practitioner in your area:
5-HTP is sometimes taken by people coming down from MDMA to relieve post-MDMA dysphoria. As 5-HTP is a necessary precursor for the brain to produce more serotonin, and MDMA use depletes a person's natural serotonin levels, it is believed that taking 5-HTP after consuming MDMA will speed up serotonin production. DanceSafe claims that the anecdotal evidence is widespread and that the theory is physiologically reasonable. Backing up this approach is research conducted by Wang, et al. in 2007, which observed that MDMA-induced depletions of 5-HT (serotonin) were restored in rats after administration 5-HTP, and suggested that this approach might be clinically useful in abstinent MDMA users.