thymus

Definition of thymus

thy´mus   Pronunciation: thī´mŭs
a.1.(Anat.) Of, pertaining to, or designating, the thymus gland.
Thymus gland
a ductless gland in the throat, or in the neighboring region, of nearly all vertebrates. In man and other mammals it is the throat, or neck, sweetbread, which lies in the upper part of the thorax and lower part of the throat. It is largest in fetal and early life, and disappears or becomes rudimentary in the adult. The thymus gland functions as the site of maturation of T-lymphocytes (T-cells), which confer cell-mediated immunity on the host organism; thus, removal or malfunciton of the thymus can lead to absence of cell-mediated immunity, and a consequent loss of resistance to infection.

Related Words

asterid dicot genus, family Labiatae, family Lamiaceae, genus Thymus, Labiatae, Lamiaceae, mint family, thyme
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