Serum thymic factor (FTS) reduced mortality of mice after total-body irradiation with 7.56 Gy X rays. The radioprotective effect was achieved by daily repeated subcutaneous injections of 3-100 μg FTS, while doses higher than 300 μg/day/mouse were neither radioprotective nor toxic. Similarly, degeneration of the spleen was moderated by 3-100 μg FTS but not by 500 μg FTS in sublethally (3.78 Gy) irradiated mice. Histological examination showed that hematopoiesis was enhanced in the spleen by daily injections of 10 μg FTS. Spleen cells from the FTS-treated mice incorporated more [3 H]thymidine in culture with or without concanavalin A. The treatment with FTS increased the production of colony-stimulating factor in the spleen as well as in peritoneal macrophage-like cells, and caused a significant increase in the number of granulocyte-macrophage colony-forming cells both in the spleen and in the femoral bone marrow. Furthermore, FTS prevented a decrease in circulating neutrophils in the sublethally irradiated mice. Prominent overshoot recovery of myelopoiesis, which occurred occasionally in sublethally irradiated mice, did not occur in the FTS-treated mice. The decrease in blood erythrocytes was also significantly reduced. These observations imply that this thymic hormone has potential as a radioprotector.

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