Humanized mice: Novel model for studying mechanisms of human immune-based therapies

Louis Gonzalez, Natasa Strbo, Eckhard R. Podack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The lack of relevant animal models is the major bottleneck for understanding human immunology and immunopathology. In the last few years, a novel model of humanized mouse has been successfully employed to investigate some of the most critical questions in human immunology. We have set up and tested in our laboratory the latest technology for generating mice with a human immune system by reconstituting newborn immunodeficient NOD/SCID-γ c -/- mice with human fetal liver-derived hematopoietic stem cells these humanized mice have been deemed most competent as human models in a thorough comparative study with other humanized mouse technologies. Lymphocytes in these mice are of human origin while other hematopoietic cells are chimeric, partly of mouse and partly of human origin. We demonstrate that human CD8 T lymphocytes in humanized mice are fully responsive to our novel cell-based secreted heat shock protein gp96HIV-Ig vaccine. We also show that the gp96HIV-Ig vaccine induces powerful mucosal immune responses in the rectum and the vagina, which are thought to be required for protection from HIV infection. We posit the hypothesis that vaccine approaches tested in humanized mouse models can generate data rapidly, economically and with great flexibility (genetic manipulations are possible), to be subsequently tested in larger nonhuman primate models and humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)326-334
Number of pages9
JournalImmunologic Research
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • gp96 chaperone
  • Humanized immunity
  • NOD/SCID-γ mice
  • Vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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