Biological models

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Early in human embryonic development, it is unclear how amniotic sac formation is regulated. Here, the authors use a human pluripotent stem cell-based model, termed the post-implantation amniotic sac embryoid, to recapitulate early embryogenic events of human amniotic sac development.

    • Yue Shao
    • , Kenichiro Taniguchi
    •  & Jianping Fu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Human liver chimeric mice are increasingly used for drug testing in preclinical development, but express residual murine p450 cytochromes. Here the authors generate mice lacking the Por gene in the liver, and show that human cytochrome metabolism is used following repopulation with human hepatocytes.

    • Mercedes Barzi
    • , Francis P. Pankowicz
    •  & Karl-Dimiter Bissig
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Laboratory mice are the cornerstone of immunology but how well they represent wild mice is not clear. Here the authors compare and contrast various immune parameters between wild-caught mice and laboratory (C57BL/6) mice and identify a previously unknown myeloid cell population specific to wild mice.

    • Stephen Abolins
    • , Elizabeth C. King
    •  & Eleanor M. Riley
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Loss-of-function mutations inPNPLA1, a gene encoding an enzyme with unknown function, cause dry and scaling skin in humans. Using mouse models with PNPLA1 deficiency, the authors show that PNPLA1 participates in the biosynthesis of acylceramide, a lipid component essential for skin barrier function.

    • Tetsuya Hirabayashi
    • , Tatsuki Anjo
    •  & Makoto Murakami
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Nrf2 regulates oxidative and electrophilic stress responses by modulating the expression of enzymes involved in detoxification pathways. Here Suzukiet al. show that Nrf2 activation in early tubular development promotes nephrogenic diabetes insipidus by regulating aquaporin 2 expression and trafficking and water permeability.

    • Takafumi Suzuki
    • , Shiori Seki
    •  & Masayuki Yamamoto
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Three-dimensional culture systems and organoids for mammary glands are important to understand mammary gland development. Here, the authors identify conditions (including Neuregulin 1 and R-spondin 1) that allow the culture of organoids that are responsive to hormonal stimulation for up to 2.5 months.

    • Thierry Jardé
    • , Bethan Lloyd-Lewis
    •  & Trevor C. Dale
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The genome of some bacteria consists of two or more chromosomes or replicons. Here, diCenzo et al. integrate genome-scale metabolic modelling and growth data from a collection of mutants of the plant symbiont Sinorhizobium melilotito estimate the fitness contribution of each replicon in three environments.

    • George C. diCenzo
    • , Alice Checcucci
    •  & Marco Fondi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Animal models of infection with Zika virus (ZIKV) are urgently needed for a better understanding of pathogenesis and for testing potential therapies. Here, the authors describe infection of rhesus macaques with an Asian-lineage ZIKV strain as a relevant animal model for studying ZIKV pathogenesis.

    • Dawn M. Dudley
    • , Matthew T. Aliota
    •  & David H. O’Connor
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Imaging tools for evaluating progression of Alzheimer’s disease have been lacking. Here the authors develop a blood brain barrier-permeable Aß probe based on a radiolabelled, anti-Aß antibody, and report age-dependent brain uptake visualized in vivo with PET in mouse models of the disease.

    • Dag Sehlin
    • , Xiaotian T. Fang
    •  & Stina Syvänen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The domestic dog is an important model organism for our understanding of cancer and other diseases. Here the authors conduct a genome-wide association study across multiple breeds and identify novel loci significantly associated with several complex diseases and morphological traits.

    • Jessica J. Hayward
    • , Marta G. Castelhano
    •  & Adam R. Boyko
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Generalized arterial calcification of infancy (GACI) is a terminal disease caused by the ENPP1 enzyme deficiency. Here, Albrigh et al. show that ENPP1 enzyme replacement therapy prevents the ectopic calcifications and mortality in mice with GACI, suggesting a novel treatment for vascular calcification in humans.

    • Ronald A. Albright
    • , Paul Stabach
    •  & Demetrios T. Braddock
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Mice engrafted with human cells are useful models for research on human malaria parasites. Here the authors show that the complete life cycle of Plasmodium falciparum and the liver stages of Plasmodium ovalecan be studied in mice doubly engrafted with human primary hepatocytes and red blood cells.

    • Valérie Soulard
    • , Henriette Bosson-Vanga
    •  & Dominique Mazier
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The gut epithelium is damaged in inflammatory bowel disease, but capturing such lesions by histology can be difficult. Here, the authors use stereomicroscopy to visualize different 3D inflammatory structures and associated microbes in humans and in 16 genetic mouse models relevant to intestinal inflammation.

    • Alex Rodriguez-Palacios
    • , Tomohiro Kodani
    •  & Fabio Cominelli
  • Article |

    Anticancer treatments are tested in mice housed below thermoneutrality which represents chronic cold-stress. Here Eng et al. show that these mice have activated stress responses leading to therapeutic resistance and that inhibiting adrenergic signaling increases efficacy of anticancer therapies.

    • Jason W.-L. Eng
    • , Chelsey B. Reed
    •  & Bonnie L. Hylander
  • Article |

    During cell division, a single chromosome that lacks attachment to microtubules is sufficient to delay chromosome segregation. Chen and Liu construct a model demonstrating that the transport of regulators along microtubules may explain the remarkable sensitivity and robustness of this checkpoint.

    • Jing Chen
    •  & Jian Liu