Mice repopulated with human hematopoietic cells are a powerful tool for the study of human hematopoiesis and immune function in vivo. However, existing humanized mouse models cannot support development of human innate immune cells, including myeloid cells and natural killer (NK) cells. Here we describe two mouse strains called MITRG and MISTRG, in which human versions of four genes encoding cytokines important for innate immune cell development are knocked into their respective mouse loci. The human cytokines support the development and function of monocytes, macrophages and NK cells derived from human fetal liver or adult CD34+ progenitor cells injected into the mice. Human macrophages infiltrated a human tumor xenograft in MITRG and MISTRG mice in a manner resembling that observed in tumors obtained from human patients. This humanized mouse model may be used to model the human immune system in scenarios of health and pathology, and may enable evaluation of therapeutic candidates in an in vivo setting relevant to human physiology.
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We thank G. Yancopoulos, D. Valenzuela, A. Murphy and W. Auerbach at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals who generated, in collaboration with our groups, the individual knock-in alleles combined in MISTRG, J. Alderman for managerial support, A.M. Franco, P. Ranney, C. Weibel, S. Patel and M. Santhanakrishnan for technical assistance, G. Lyon for cell sorting and C. Lieber for manuscript submission. This work was supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and US National Institutes of Health CA156689 (to R.A.F. and M.G.M.), CA129350, CA84512, CA140602 (to A.K.P.); the University of Zurich Clinical Research Program (to M.G.M.); the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Connecticut Stem Cell Research Grants Program (to R.A.F.); the Baylor Health Care System Foundation (to A.K.P.); and an Institutional Research Grant 58-012-54 from the American Cancer Society (to S.H.). T.S. was supported by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The Me275 cell line was established at the Ludwig Cancer Institute in Lausanne.
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Rongvaux, A., Willinger, T., Martinek, J. et al. Development and function of human innate immune cells in a humanized mouse model. Nat Biotechnol 32, 364–372 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1038/nbt.2858
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