Thymus question

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  • Thread starter lisab
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  • #1
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I work with acetylacetone in my lab. The MSDS, in the Health Hazard section, lists the target organ as the thymus.

I don't think I've ever seen the thymus listed in any MSDS as a target organ. Usually, it's the liver, or the central nervous system.

I looked into what the thymus does, and some sources stated that it basically disappears after adolescence. Is this true? I'm 44; do I have any thymus left?

I still wear all the PPE I need to, by the way.

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  • #2
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From what I've read some months ago, it doesn't disappear with age, but get atrophied. In other word, it's getting smaller and smaller till reach an almost stable length. I think the Thymus is important in new born (it creates lymphocytes), but loses importance as other glandes produce lymphocytes. It has a similar role to the tonsils. Therefore I think you can live without a Thymus, but it's better not to. (Since we might not know everything about it).
  • #3
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Yes, as fluidistic mentioned, the thymus atrophies with age. It's believed to primarily assist with immune function in infancy/childhood, and particularly with development of the immune system. In adulthood, there is very little of it left, but you do have one (in most of the aged cadavers we study in the anatomy lab, it's barely recognizable as it looks a lot like a few lymph nodes in fascia, but it's still there).
  • #4
Andy Resnick
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It's also very tasty (sweetbreads).