Int J Med Sci 2021; 18(15):3544-3555. doi:10.7150/ijms.61975 This issue

Research Paper

Thymopentin treatment of murine premature ovarian failure via attenuation of immune cell activity and promotion of the BMP4/Smad9 signalling pathway

Xueqin Zhu1*, Jianjun Liu2*, Hao Pan3*, Zixiang Geng4*, William Huang5, Te Liu6✉, Bimeng Zhang4✉

1. Geriatrics Department, Punan hospital of Shanghai, Shanghai 200031, China.
2. Trauma-Emergency & Critical Care Medicine Center, Shanghai Fifth People's Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai 200240, China.
3. College of Pharmacy, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400016, China.
4. Department of Acupuncture, Shanghai General Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200086, China.
5. Hainan Zhonghe Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd, Hainan, China.
6. Shanghai Geriatric Institute of Chinese Medicine, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 200031, China.
*These authors contributed equally to this work and shared the first authorship.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( See for full terms and conditions.
Zhu X, Liu J, Pan H, Geng Z, Huang W, Liu T, Zhang B. Thymopentin treatment of murine premature ovarian failure via attenuation of immune cell activity and promotion of the BMP4/Smad9 signalling pathway. Int J Med Sci 2021; 18(15):3544-3555. doi:10.7150/ijms.61975. Available from

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Graphic abstract

Premature ovarian failure (POF) is a typical form of pathological aging with complex pathogenesis and no effective treatment. Meanwhile, recent studies have reported that a high-fat and high-sugar (HFHS) diet adversely affects ovarian function and ovum quality. Here, we investigated the therapeutic effect of thymopentin (TP-5) as a treatment for murine POF derived from HFHS and its target. Pathological examination and hormone assays confirmed that TP-5 significantly improved murine POF symptoms. And, TP-5 could reduce oxidative stress injury and blood lipids in the murine POF derived from HFHS. Flow cytometry and qPCR results suggested that TP-5 attenuated activation of CD3+ T cells and type I macrophages. RNA-Seq results indicated somedifferences in gene transcription between the TP-5 intervention group and the control group. KEGG analysis indicated that the expression of genes involved in the mTOR signaling pathway was the most significantly different between the two groups. Additionally, compared with the control groups, the expression levels of interleukin, NFκB, and TNF families of genes were significantly downregulated in the POF+TP-5 group, whereas expression of the TGFβ/Smad9 genes was significantly upregulated. Finally, immunofluorescence staining and qPCR confirmed that TP-5 promoted the polarization of Mø2 cells in the ovary by activating the expression of the BMP4/Smad9 signalling pathway. Thus, our study confirmed that TP-5 has a significant therapeutic effect on POF by upregulating BMP4/Smad9 signalling pathway so as to promote the balance and polarization of immune cell and reducing the release of inflammatory factors and reduce lipid oxidative stress injury.

Keywords: Premature ovarian failure, high-fat and high-sugar (HFHS), thymopentin (TP-5), BMP4/Smad9 signalling pathway, immune cell activity