GeneralWhat Are Humanized Mice and Their Little-Known Facts?

With the advancement of drug development and modern techniques for genetic manipulation, specialized mouse models with humanized immune systems and other humanized features have become an important asset in medical research. These humanized mouse models have been used to mimic human conditions so that they can further be used for the treatment of human diseases.

This article is intended for those interested in working with humanized mice to carry out their research.

What Are Humanized Mice?

A humanized mouse is an animal model engrafted with something functional from humans, such as human cells (e.g., immune cells), tissues (e.g., tumors),  and even genetic sequences. Humanized mice are powerful in vivo animal models used for studying human diseases, drug development, and pre-clinical testing.

As biomedical research has been striving to overcome human diseases, humanized mice have become irreplaceable in this regard. This is because, in most cases, we cannot initially test drugs or evaluate their safety directly in the human body. Therefore, humanized mouse models have been used to mimic human biological qualities due to their strong resemblance with the human genome.

Applications of Humanized Mice in Modern Research

Humanized mice have enabled researchers and scientists to conduct studies in different research fields, including:

  • Prediction of clinical response
  • Pharmacodynamic experiments
  • Translational medicine
  • Tumor immune research (Immuno-oncology)
  • Evaluating the efficacy of immunotherapy
  • Antibody-drug development
  • And more

Humanized mice serve as a powerful tool for:

1. Studying the Human Immune System: Mouse models have been used to recreate parts of the human immune system for exploring irregularities of the immune system and how it attacks pathogens.

2. Pre-clinical Applications in Tumor Immune Research: Humanized mice have been used to test immunotherapies as a translational approach. In this instance, cell line-derived xenografts are used to implant human tumor tissue in mice.

3. Studying the Function of Human Genes: By inserting a human genetic sequence into mice through DNA editing technologies (e.g., CRISPR-Cas), scientists can study the function of human genes and how a disease-causing abnormality can be stopped.

Advantages of Humanized Mice

The following are advantages of humanized mice that make them a good candidate for studying humans:

  • The mouse genome is relatively easy to manipulate compared to other animal models.
  • The mouse genome is highly homologous to the human genome. For example, 99% of the genes in mice have counterparts in humans.
  • The smaller size of the mouse makes it more convenient to carry out research purposes.
  • Adult mice can reproduce every three weeks. Also, their reproductive cycle starts on the day they give birth.
  • Mice have a short reproductive ability, meaning that it only takes 10 weeks for a female mouse to give birth.
  • The lifespan of the mouse is relatively shorter(one year).

Types of Humanized Mice & Their Features

The following are some types of humanized mice:

1. Hu-PBMC Mice: This study-ready model is engrafted with human immune cells for research involving infectious diseases, immuno-oncology, and graft rejection. Hu-PBMC models:

  • Are best-suited for studying NK-cell and memory T-cell function.
  • Have a lifespan of fewer than three months.

2. Hu-HSC Mice: These mice models are generated by the transplantation of human CD34+ cells into an immunodeficient mouse.

  • These models are best suited for studying HSC-intrinsic immune abnormalities.
  • Easy to prepare.
  • Multilineage hematopoiesis.

3. Hu-NOG Mice: Hu-NOG mice are produced by human CD34+ hematopoietic stem cells and yield multiple cell lineages by 13-16 weeks.

  • They’re a good option for long-term studies because of good T-cell maturation.
  • Pre-screened Hu-NOG mice save cost, time, and labor.

Humanized mice models have revolutionized the field of biomedical research in pre-clinical studies of human diseases. Cyagen offers humanized rat and mouse models to help you further your research. Their proprietary TurboKnockout® Gene Targeting service takes as few as 6 months to deliver research-ready humanized mouse models. Cyagen is at the forefront of creating and delivering cutting-edge rat and mouse models to advance your research and pre-clinical testing.

Interested in using a custom humanized mouse model for your research project? Head to their website https://www.cyagen.com/us/en/ to get a quote.

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