A type of mouse widely used to assess how the human immune system responds to transplanted stem cells does not reflect what is likely to occur in patients, according to a study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. The researchers urge further optimization of this animal model before making decisions about whether and when to begin wide-scale stem cell transplants in humans.
Known as “humanized” mice, the animals have been engineered to have a human, rather than a murine, immune system. Researchers have relied upon the animals for decades to study, among other things, the immune response to the transplantation of pancreatic islet cells for diabetes and skin grafts for burn victims.
However, the Stanford researchers found that, unlike what would occur in a human patient, the humanized mice are unable to robustly reject the transplantation of genetically mismatched human stem cells. As a result, they can’t be used to study the immunosuppressive drugs that patients will likely require after transplant. The researchers conclude that the humanized mouse model is not suitable for studying the human immune response to transplanted stem cells or cells derived from them. Paper. (public access) – Nigel G. Kooreman, Patricia E. De Almeida, Jonathan P. Stack, Raman V. Nelakanti, Sebastian Diecke, Ning-Yi Shao, Rutger-Jan Swijnenburg, Veronica Sanchez-Freire, Elena Matsa, Chun Liu, Andrew J. Connolly, Jaap F. Hamming, Paul H.a. Quax, Michael A. Brehm, Dale L. Greiner’correspondence Information About the Author Dale L. Greineremail the Author Dale L. Greiner, Leonard D. Shultz, Joseph C. Wu. Alloimmune Responses of Humanized Mice to Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Therapeutics. Cell Reports, 2017 DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.08.003 More.
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