Mice have long been proven to be invaluable for modeling various aspects of human health, in part due to our physiological similarities. Hematopoietic humanized mice take these similarities a step further. These humanized mice are generated by engrafting human hematopoietic stem cells into immunocompromised mice. It’s not a perfect process though, and modeling T cell immunity in humanized mice has many limitations. Human T cells that mature in a mouse thymus are not able to interact with other human immune cells, which vastly impairs immune function.
Some current solutions for modeling T cell immunity in mice require transplantation of human fetal thymus, which poses ethical concerns and may not be practical for research. Zeleniak et al. have instead proposed a novel method for engineering an artificial human thymus, developed from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), for transplantation into hematopoietic humanized mice.