Humanized mouse models

Principle investigator:   Prof. Dr. Christian Münz

Research focus

We will focus our research on two tasks:

  • Comparing genetic risk factor carrying CD34+ hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) for their reconstitution and steady state activation of human immune system components with HPCs without these risk factors
  • Analyzing IM like symptoms in huNSG mice with genetic MS risk factor carrying reconstitutions upon Epstein Barr virus (EBV) infection in vivo.
blood cover
blood cover

For this purpose, our collection of human CD34+ hematopoietic progenitor cells have been typed for MS associated SNPs and spontaneous immune system activation after reconstitution of human immune system components will be monitored in NOD-scid gc-/- (huNSG mice). In addition to this steady-state activation the degree of CD8+ T cell expansion after EBV infection was monitored in correlation with the genotype of the reconstituted immune system components. These experiments identified SNPs, which correlated with higher immune activation and a symptomatic course of EBV infection that is reminiscent of infectious mononucleosis. The respective SNPs will be further characterized in order to determine if MS associated SNPs predict an increased basal immune activation of human immune system components and increased infectious mononucleosis symptoms after EBV infection of the respective huNSG mice.