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Exp Hematol. 2000 Jul;28(7):792-801.

Dominant expansion of human T cells in non-obese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficiency mice implanted with human bone fragments.

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Department of Immunology, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences and Center for Tsukuba Advanced Research Alliance, University of Tsukuba and CREST, Japan Science and Technology Corporation, Ibaraki.



To establish an in vivo animal model in which human T cells develop and function normally, a step toward developing new vaccines or chemical compounds that modulate immune functions and toward understanding T-cell immunity in humans.


Human bone fragments were implanted into non-obese diabetes/severe combined immunodeficiency (NOD/SCID) mice. The presence of human blood cells in the peripheral blood of these mice was monitored periodically by immunostaining and fluorescence-activated cell sorting.


After implantation of bone fragments, dominant expansion of human T lymphocytes, rather than myeloid and B cells, was observed over a 3-month period. In some cases, the proportion of human T cells rose to 40% of the peripheral blood mononuclear cells. These T cells showed CD4/CD8 ratios similar to those observed in human peripheral blood lymphocytes and had a broad repertoire of rearranged T-cell receptor genes. Graft-versus-host reaction was not noted in any organ analyzed. To assess the suitability of NOD/SCID mice implanted with human bone fragments (hu-bone-NOD/SCID mice) as an in vivo model for HIV infection, the mice were infected with a T-lymphotropic strain of HIV-1 (NL4-3) at 7 weeks posttransplant. Serum p24 gag was detected at 2 weeks after inoculation, after which total CD4-positive cell numbers declined, as seen clinically in patients infected with HIV.


Although the precise mechanism is yet to be determined by which predominant expansion of human T cells occurs in hu-bone-NOD/SCID mice, such mice appear likely to serve as a useful and versatile model for studies involving human T-cell immunity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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