Human cord blood (hCB)-CD34+ humanized mice fail to reject human acute myeloid leukemia cells

Olga Tanaskovic, Maria Vittoria Verga Falzacappa, Pier Giuseppe Pelicci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Since their appearance, humanized mice carrying human immune system seemed promising tools to study the crosstalk between cancer and immunity. The NOD-scidIL2Rgammanull (NSG) mice engrafted with human cord blood (hCB)-CD34+ cells have been proposed to be a valuable tool to reproduce human immune system in mouse. However, the lack of solid evidences on the functionality of their human immune components limits their usage in immune-oncology. We report that (hCB)-CD34+ cells lose their ability to propagate and originate bone marrow-derived human immune cells after two serial transplantations in NSG mice. We demonstrate that transplants of bone marrow patient-derived acute myeloid leukemias (hAMLs) grow very similarly in the humanized (hCB)-CD34+ NSG and parental NSG mice. The similar extent of engraftment and development of leukemias in (hCB)-CD34+ NSG and controls suggests a poor human immune response against not compatible hAMLs. Our findings suggest that (hCB)-CD34+ NSG mice are transient and/or incomplete carriers of the human immune system and, therefore, represent a suboptimal tool to study the interaction between tumor and immune cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0217345
JournalPLoS One
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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