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Humanized mouse model: Hematopoietic stemcell transplantation and tracking using short tandem repeat technology

: Walcher, Lia; Hilger, Nadja; Wege, Anja K.; Lange, Franziska; Tretbar, Sandy; Blaudszun, André-René; Fricke, Stephan

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Immunity, Inflammation and Disease 8 (2020), No.3, pp.363-370
ISSN: 2050-4527
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IZI ()
Epstein–Barr virus; SCID mouse; Graft-Versus-Host-Disease

Models of mice carrying a human immune system, so‐called humanized mice, are used increasingly as preclinical models to bridge the gap between model organisms and human beings. Challenges of the humanized mouse model include finding suitable sources for human hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) and reaching sufficient engraftment of these cells in immunocompromised mice.
In this study, we compared the use of CD34+ HSC from cord blood (CB) vs HSC from adult mobilized peripheral blood. Furthermore, we developed a simple and highly specific test for donor identification in humanized mice by applying the detection method of short tandem repeats (STR).
It was found that, in vitro, CB‐derived and adult HSC show comparable purity, viability, and differentiation potential in colony‐forming unit assays. However, in vivo, CB‐derived HSC engrafted to a significantly higher extent in NOD.Cg‐PrkdcscidIL2rγtm1Wjl/SzJ (NSG) mice than adult HSC. Increasing the cell dose of adult HSC or using fresh cells without cryopreservation did not improve the engraftment rate. Interestingly, when using adult HSC, the percentage of human cells in the bone marrow was significantly higher than that in the peripheral blood. Using the STR‐based test, we were able to identify and distinguish human cells from different donors in humanized mice and in a humanized allogeneic transplantation model.
From these findings, we conclude that adult mobilized HSC are less suitable for generating a humanized immune system in mice than CB‐derived cells.