Researchers at University of Edinburgh in Scotland revealed that they have managed to develop a fully functioning thymus, a gland that is responsible for the production of immune system's T-cells, in mouse.
The researchers made use of cells called fibroblasts that were taken from a mouse embryo and turned them into the thymus cells through a technique called reprogramming.
The researchers said that the thymus was able to support the production of T-cells in lab and they were able to successfully transplant the cells into a mouse where they formed a replacement organ which had the same structure, complexity and function as a healthy adult thymus.
Stating that their study could be used for the development of new treatments for those with weak immune systems, lead researcher Professor Clare Blackburn said, "Our research represents an important step towards the goal of generating a clinically useful artificial thymus in the lab". The study has been published in the journal Nature Cell Biology.