Thursday, June 13, 2013
This week in
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Human embryonic stem cell
(hESC)-derived thymic epithelial cells capable of supporting T cell
A protocol to generate
thymic epithelial cells from hESCs could help restore thymus function and
induce immune tolerance. hESCs were exposed to a series of cocktails
containing multiple growth factors, including modulators of signaling by wingless-type
MMTV integration site (WNT)
morphogenetic protein (BMP),
which converted the cells into thymic epithelial progenitors. In athymic
immunodeficient mice, transplanted progenitor cells differentiated into
thymic epithelial cells that could produce functional T cells. Next steps
include exploring the therapeutic uses of the derived thymic epithelial cells
in mouse models.
Matthias Hebrok and Mark Anderson have cofounded ThyGen
to commercialize the approach.
Published online June 13, 2013
Patent application filed;
exclusively licensed to ThyGen
A.V. et al. Cell Stem Cell; published online May 16, 2013;
Contact: Matthias Hebrok, University of
San Francisco, Calif.
Contact: Mark S. Anderson, same affiliation as above
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