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Am J Transplant. 2012 Oct;12(10):2652-62. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2012.04178.x. Epub 2012 Aug 17.

Analysis of human biologics with a mouse skin transplant model in humanized mice.

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Department of Immunobiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.


Preclinical testing of human therapeutic monoclonal antibodies has been limited in murine models due to species differences in pharmacokinetics and biologic responses. To overcome these constraints we developed a murine skin transplant model in humanized mice and used it to test human monoclonal antibody therapy. Neonatal NOD/SCID/IL2Rγc(null) mice (NSG) were reconstituted with human CD34(+) hematopoietic stem cells (hNSG). When adult, these mice rejected MHC mismatched murine C57BL/6J skin grafts. Rejection required adequate reconstitution with human cells. There was diffuse infiltration of the epidermis and dermis with hCD8 and hCD4 cells in rejected grafts by immunohistochemistry. Studies with B6/MHC class I and II knockout mice donors indicated that neither is required for rejection. Graft rejection was associated with the development of effector and central memory T cells and an increase in serum immunoglobulins. We also tested the effects of teplizumab (anti-CD3 mAb) and found it could delay skin graft rejection, whereas ipilimumab (anti-CTLA-4 [cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4] mAb) treatment accelerated rejection. These findings demonstrate that hNSG mice reliably and predictably reject a xenogenic mouse skin graft by a human T cell mediated mechanism. The model can be utilized to investigate the ability of human immunotherapies to enhance or suppress functional human immune responses.

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