Bioengineering thymus organoids to restore thymic function and induce donor-specific immune tolerance to allografts

Antonina Coppola, Maria Grupillo, Saik Kia Goh, Antonina Coppola, Giulio Gualtierotti, Asako Tajima, Massimo Trucco, William A. Rudert, Yong Fan, Ipsita Banerjee, Suzanne Bertera, Rita Bottino, Xuehui Geng

    Risultato della ricerca: Articlepeer review

    54 Citazioni (Scopus)


    One of the major obstacles in organ transplantation is to establish immune tolerance of allografts. Although immunosuppressive drugs can prevent graft rejection to a certain degree, their efficacies are limited, transient, and associated with severe side effects. Induction of thymic central tolerance to allografts remains challenging, largely because of the difficulty of maintaining donor thymic epithelial cells in vitro to allow successful bioengineering. Here, the authors show that three-dimensional scaffolds generated from decellularized mouse thymus can support thymic epithelial cell survival in culture and maintain their unique molecular properties. When transplanted into athymic nude mice, the bioengineered thymus organoids effectively promoted homing of lymphocyte progenitors and supported thymopoiesis. Nude mice transplanted with thymus organoids promptly rejected skin allografts and were able to mount antigen-specific humoral responses against ovalbumin on immunization. Notably, tolerance to skin allografts was achieved by transplanting thymus organoids constructed with either thymic epithelial cells coexpressing both syngeneic and allogenic major histocompatibility complexes, or mixtures of donor and recipient thymic epithelial cells. Our results demonstrate the technical feasibility of restoring thymic function with bioengineered thymus organoids and highlight the clinical implications of this thymus reconstruction technique in organ transplantation and regenerative medicine.
    Lingua originaleEnglish
    pagine (da-a)1262-1277
    Numero di pagine16
    RivistaMolecular Therapy
    Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2015

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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    • ???subjectarea.asjc.1300.1312???
    • ???subjectarea.asjc.1300.1311???
    • ???subjectarea.asjc.3000.3004???
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