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Sci Rep. 2018 Mar 16;8(1):4726. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-22899-1.

Bat-mouse bone marrow chimera: a novel animal model for dissecting the uniqueness of the bat immune system.

Author information

1
Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), 138673, Singapore, Singapore.
2
Programme in Emerging Infectious Diseases, Duke-NUS Medical School, 169857, Singapore, Singapore.
3
Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN), Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), 138648, Singapore, Singapore.
4
Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), 138673, Singapore, Singapore. qchen@imcb.a-star.edu.sg.
5
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, 119228, Singapore, Singapore. qchen@imcb.a-star.edu.sg.
6
Key Laboratory for Major Obstetric Diseases of Guangdong Province, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, 510150, China. qchen@imcb.a-star.edu.sg.
7
Programme in Emerging Infectious Diseases, Duke-NUS Medical School, 169857, Singapore, Singapore. linfa.wang@duke-nus.edu.sg.

Abstract

Bats are an important animal model with long lifespans, low incidences of tumorigenesis and an ability to asymptomatically harbour pathogens. Currently, in vivo studies of bats are hampered due to their low reproduction rates. To overcome this, we transplanted bat cells from bone marrow (BM) and spleen into an immunodeficient mouse strain NOD-scid IL-2R-/- (NSG), and have successfully established stable, long-term reconstitution of bat immune cells in mice (bat-mice). Immune functionality of our bat-mouse model was demonstrated through generation of antigen-specific antibody response by bat cells following immunization. Post-engraftment of total bat BM cells and splenocytes, bat immune cells survived, expanded and repopulated the mouse without any observable clinical abnormalities. Utilizing bat's remarkable immunological functions, this novel model has a potential to be transformed into a powerful platform for basic and translational research.

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