Question

Immune System

What is the function of the thymus gland?

A Answers (2)

  • AJoseph Merola, MD, Dermatology, answered on behalf of Brigham and Women's Hospital
    The thymus gland plays an important role in the development of a normal, healthy immune system. In particular it is involved in the selection of the lymphocytes (a subset of white blood cells) that will go on to help defend us against infection while protecting us from lymphocytes that could potentially attack our own organs (autoimmune disease).
  • ASusie Whitworth, PhD, Nursing, answered
    The thymus gland is located in the neck above the heart. The function of the thymus gland is to generate mature T lymphocytes (white blood cels that help the immune system fight off illness). Damage to the thymus gland can cause an increase in infection.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
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