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PloS one

Generation of Novel Chimeric Mice with Humanized Livers by Using Hemizygous cDNA-uPA/SCID Mice.


PMID 26536627

Abstract

We have used homozygous albumin enhancer/promoter-driven urokinase-type plasminogen activator/severe combined immunodeficient (uPA/SCID) mice as hosts for chimeric mice with humanized livers. However, uPA/SCID mice show four disadvantages: the human hepatocytes (h-heps) replacement index in mouse liver is decreased due to deletion of uPA transgene by homologous recombination, kidney disorders are likely to develop, body size is small, and hemizygotes cannot be used as hosts as more frequent homologous recombination than homozygotes. To solve these disadvantages, we have established a novel host strain that has a transgene containing albumin promoter/enhancer and urokinase-type plasminogen activator cDNA and has a SCID background (cDNA-uPA/SCID). We applied the embryonic stem cell technique to simultaneously generate a number of transgenic lines, and found the line with the most appropriate levels of uPA expression-not detrimental but with a sufficiently damaged liver. We transplanted h-heps into homozygous and hemizygous cDNA-uPA/SCID mice via the spleen, and monitored their human albumin (h-alb) levels and body weight. Blood h-alb levels and body weight gradually increased in the hemizygous cDNA-uPA/SCID mice and were maintained until they were approximately 30 weeks old. By contrast, blood h-alb levels and body weight in uPA/SCID chimeric mice decreased from 16 weeks of age onwards. A similar decrease in body weight was observed in the homozygous cDNA-uPA/SCID genotype, but h-alb levels were maintained until they were approximately 30 weeks old. Microarray analyses revealed identical h-heps gene expression profiles in homozygous and hemizygous cDNA-uPA/SCID mice were identical to that observed in the uPA/SCID mice. Furthermore, like uPA/SCID chimeric mice, homozygous and hemizygous cDNA-uPA/SCID chimeric mice were successfully infected with hepatitis B virus and C virus. These results indicate that hemizygous cDNA-uPA/SCID mice may be novel and useful hosts for producing chimeric mice for use in future long-term studies, including hepatitis virus infection analysis or drug toxicity studies.

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