ARE DIRTY MICE SUPERIOR IMMUNOLOGY MODELS?

Posted by: | August 30, 2023 | Comments

In a recent review article, David Masopust and his coauthors from the University of Minnesota Medical School discuss the relevancy of mouse models for use in immunological studies and translatability of immune system studies using SPF mice. Of Mice, Dirty Mice, and Men: Using Mice to Understand Human Immunology1 provides a short introduction to the development of the laboratory mouse while calling out a number of significant scientific advances that came out of research utilizing laboratory mice, including the discovery of IgG in the 1930s, understanding acquired immunologic tolerance in the 1950s, and, most recently, the discovery of checkpoint blockade therapy.

From SPF to Dirty Mice
Specific Pathogen Free (SPF) mice date back to the late 1950s, when the term was first used to describe the microbiological status (i.e., health) of mouse colonies in terms of the presence or absence of a specific list of pathogens2,3. While there is recognition of what SPF means in a broad sense, the list of defined organisms varies from lab to lab. “Evidence that microbial experience impacts the immune response of laboratory mice is compelling,” Masopust and his coauthors conclude. “At its most extreme, the development of gnotobiotic, or germ-free, mice has revealed the profound impact of commensal organisms on everything from host metabolism to pathogen vulnerability.” Scientists have “noted that a key phenotype of a certain mouse strain is no longer reproducible upon changing laboratory locations, or simply by housing their mice in a different room at the same institution.”

Read More Here: Taconic Biosciences Insights






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