A team of researchers from the Université libre de Bruxelles, led by Sabine Costagliola (Institute of Interdisciplinary Research in Human Biology), has succeeded in recreating "a thyroid in vitro, using pluripotent embryonic stem cells of a mouse."
Thus, "after testing several approaches, the team identified the correct procedure" for "transforming these stem cells into thyroid tissue producing hormones as the thyroid does in its natural state," explained one of the researchers, Francesco Antonica. Then, "this tissue was grafted successfully on a mouse that had no thyroid. The graft was able to produce thyroid hormones in a prolonged, efficient and regulated way so that the mouse was cured of its hypothyroidism," that is, its thyroid deficiency, he explained. In future, the "researchers want to reproduce these results with human embryonic stem cells, or to reprogramme these pluripotent stems cells (IPS) derived from skin cells." However, "the use [of embryonic pluripotent stem cells (ES cells)] for research purposes is a source of controversy."