Human allograft rejection in humanized mice: a historical perspective.

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Cell Mol Immunol. 2012 May;9(3):225-31.




Basic research in transplantation immunology has relied primarily on rodent models. Experimentation with rodents has laid the foundation for our basic understanding of the biological events that precipitate rejection of non-self or allogeneic tissue transplants and supported the development of novel strategies to specifically suppress allogeneic immune responses. However, translation of these studies to the clinic has met with limited success, emphasizing the need for new models that focus on human immune responses to allogeneic tissues. Humanized mouse models are an exciting alternative that permits investigation of the rejection of human tissues mediated by human immune cells without putting patients at risk. However, the use of humanized mice is complicated by a diversity of protocols and approaches, including the large number of immunodeficient mouse strains available, the choice of tissue to transplant and the specific human immune cell populations that can be engrafted. Here, we present a historical perspective on the study of allograft rejection in humanized mice and discuss the use of these novel model systems in transplant biology.

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