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Forced expression of a protein called Forkhead box protein N1 (FOXN1) led to the robust regeneration of the atrophied (involuted) thymus of aged mice, report researchers from the University of Edinburgh, in Scotland (Bredenkamp N et al. Development. 2014;141:1627-1637). The regenerated organ’s architecture, gene expression, and functionality closely resembled that of a juvenile thymus. Also, the elevated expression of this thymic epithelial cell–specific transcription factor caused a sustained increase in progenitor and terminally differentiated thymic epithelial cells.
Hampton T. Regenerative Medicine Restores the Thymus in Aged Mice. JAMA. 2014;311(21):2162. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.6398