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Thymosin beta 4 (TÎ²4) and thymosin beta 10 (TÎ²10) are two members of the Î²-thymosin family, involved in multiple cellular activities in different organs in multiple animal species. Here we report the expression pattern of TÎ²4 and TÎ²10 in rat tissues, in the gut and in annexed glands. The two peptide were differently expressed: TÎ²4 was absent in salivary glands whereas TÎ²10 was expressed in parotid and in submandibular glands. TÎ²4 was mildly expressed in the tongue and in the oesophagus, where TÎ²10 was absent. A similar expression was found in the stomach, ileum and colon mucosa. In pancreas TÎ²4 reactivity was restricted to the Langerhans islet cells; TÎ²4 was also detected in the exocrine cells. Both peptide were not expressed in liver cells. When the rat expression pattern in rat organs was compared to reactivity for TÎ²4 and TÎ²10 in humans, marked differences were found. Our data clearly indicate a species-specific expression of TÎ²4 and TÎ²10, characterized by the actual unpredictability of the expression of these peptides in different cells and tissues. The common high expression of TÎ²4 in mast cells, both in humans and in rats, represents one of the few similarities between these two species.
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