This past month scientists at the University of Edinburgh regenerated the thymus gland of a living mouse. They did this by increasing levels of FOXN1, a protein produced by the thymus, which helps to control how important genes are switched on. This could mean so much for the future of medicine. The same team’s research suggests that targeting the same pathway in humans may improve thymus function. Not only does this impact elderly patients, whose thymus has deteriorated with time, but it also affects those born with an underdeveloped thymus. Furthermore, if scientists can regenerate a thymus by just targeting a single transcription factor, then could they regenerate important organs, such as the heart, through the same or similar processes? This new research opens up an entire world of opportunities for doctors and patients alike. If you would like to read the article, it is linked below.
Regeneration of the aged thymus by a single transcription factor