Thymus organoids used to produce patient-specific cells

According to research published March 23 in the journal Stem Cell Reports, pluripotent stem cells have been used to create thymus organoids that facilitate the formation of patient-specific T-cells. The proof-of-concept research serves as the foundation for investigations into the thymus, T-cell development, and transplant immunology in humans. The University of Florida’s Holger Russ, the study’s senior author, notes that “we have set the basis for further fundamental scientific and translational research investigating human thymus growth and function in vitro, and in a patient-specific manner.” “We expect our effort will significantly advance the area conceptually and technically,” the statement reads. A functioning immune system depends on the thymus because it helps produce self-tolerant T cells that can recognize foreign chemicals. Yet, thymus function and T cell production decline with age, increasing the risk of autoimmunity and illness.

In the latest research, Russ and his associates produced functional, patient-specific thymic organoids formed from stem cells, which promoted the formation of thymic epithelial cells and T cells derived from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs). The organoids were made up of mesenchymal cells, hematopoietic progenitor cells, and thymic epithelial progenitors that were all developed from the same hPSC line. According to Russ, it had never before been possible to produce functioning hPSC-derived hymic epithelial cells in a laboratory setting. One appealing regenerative method is the production of a human thymus from human pluripotent stem cells. According to Russ, “An experimental model system is required to investigate the causes of thymic insufficiency and function and may aid in the advancement of cell-based therapies for thymic abnormalities.”

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