Generation of a Tissue-Engineered Thymic Organoid

  • Fabrizio Vianello
  • Mark C. Poznansky
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology™ book series (MIMB, volume 380)


The thymic microenvironment provides essential support for the generation of a functional and diverse population of human T cells. In particular, the three-dimensional (3D) thymic architecture contributes to critical cell-cell interactions. We report that thymic stroma, arrayed on a synthetic 3D matrix, supports the development of functional human T cells from hematopoietic precursor cells. Newly generated T cells contain T-cell receptor excision circles and are both fully mature and functional. The coculture of T-cell progenitors with thymic stroma can thus be used to generate de novo functional and diverse T-cell populations. This novel tissue engineered thymic system has biological applications for the study of T-lymphopoiesis and self-tolerance as well as potential therapeutic applications including the immune reconstitution of immunocompromised patients and the induction of tolerance in individuals receiving tissue or organ transplants.

Key Words

Tissue engineering thymic organoid Treg cells thymic epithelial cells tolerance 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fabrizio Vianello
    • 1
  • Mark C. Poznansky
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of HematologyUniversity Medical School of PadovaItaly
  2. 2.Infectious Diseases Division & Partners AIDS Research CenterHarvard Medical SchoolCharlestown

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