Stromal Catalase Deficiency Linked to Thymic Atrophy
(HealthDay News) — Thymic atrophy seems to be accelerated by stromal catalase deficiency, and can be decreased by genetic complementation of catalase or chemical antioxidants, according to a study published online August 6 in Cell Reports.
Noting that T lymphocytes are produced by the thymus in proportion to its size, Ann V. Griffith, PhD, from The Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, FL, and colleagues discuss the decreased output of new T cell production as the thymus atrophies with age.
The researchers found that accelerated and irreversible thymic atrophy results from stromal deficiency in the reducing enzyme catalase, which leads to increased hydrogen peroxide damage caused by aerobic metabolism. Atrophy was diminished by genetic complementation of catalase in stromal cells and by chemical antioxidants.
"We propose that irreversible thymic atrophy represents a conventional aging process that is accelerated by stromal catalase deficiency in the context of an intensely anabolic (lymphoid) environment," the authors write.