Transfer of a functional human immune system to mice with severe combined immunodeficiency.

D E MosierD B Wilson


The pressing need for a better experimental system for AIDS research has brought into sharp focus the shortcomings of available animal models and the practical and ethical limitations of studies of immune responses and viral pathogenesis in humans. Current studies of the human immune responses are limited to relatively restrictive in vivo experiments and several in vitro systems that, although useful, allow only short-term studies and support responses to a few antigens. Neither model is particularly amenable to studies of the pathogenesis of diseases of the immune system. We report here that injection of human peripheral blood leukocytes (PBL) can result in the stable long-term reconstitution of a functional human immune system in mice with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). Human PBL transplanted to SCID mice increase in number and survive for at least six months; reconstituted mice show spontaneous secretion of human immunoglobulin and a specific human antibody response is induced following immunization with tetanus toxoid. All of the major cell populations present in PBL are found in the lymphoid tissue and blood of SCID recipients, although the relative proportions of B cells, T-cell subsets and monocytes/macrophages...Continue Reading


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