Establishment of Nude Mice Lacking NK Cells and Their Application for Human Tumor Xenografts

Document Type : Research Articles


Division of Hematopoiesis, Joint Research Center for Human Retrovirus Infection and Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kumamoto University, Kumamoto, Japan.


Objective: Nude mice are used as a recipient for human tumor cell xenografts. However, the success rate of xenotransplantation is unsatisfactory due to high natural killer (NK) activity. To overcome this limitation, we established nude mice with no NK cells, and compared the transplantation efficiency with that in nude mice. Methods: BALB/c Nude Jak3-/- (Nude-J) mice were established by crossing BALB/c Nude mice and BALB/c Jak-3-/- mice. Hematopoietic malignant cell lines (BCBL-1 and Z138) were implanted subcutaneously to compare the tumorigenicity in Nude-J mice with Nude Rag-2/Jak3 double deficient (Nude RJ) mice and nude mice. Results: Nude-J mice showed complete loss of NK and T lymphocytes, whereas B lymphocytes remained. Both BCBL-1 and Z138 human lymphoid malignant cell lines formed almost the same sizes of subcutaneous tumors in Nude-J and Nude RJ mice, whereas they formed no or only small tumors in nude mice. Splenocytes from Nude-J mice showed no cytotoxic activity in vitro. Conclusion: Nude-J mice can be a valuable tool for human tumor cell transplantation studies.


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