Rag2-/-;gammac-/- immunodeficient mice, a new preclinical model to study antitumor approaches

Antognoli, Agnese (2010) Rag2-/-;gammac-/- immunodeficient mice, a new preclinical model to study antitumor approaches, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Oncologia e patologia sperimentale: progetto n. 1 "Oncologia", 22 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/2333.
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Animal models have been relevant to study the molecular mechanisms of cancer and to develop new antitumor agents. Anyway, the huge divergence in mouse and human evolution made difficult the translation of the gained achievements in preclinical mouse based studies. The generation of clinically relevant murine models requires their humanization both concerning the creation of transgenic models and the generation of humanized mice in which to engraft a functional human immune system, and reproduce the physiological effects and molecular mechanisms of growth and metastasization of human tumors. In particular, the availability of genotypically stable immunodepressed mice able to accept tumor injection and allow human tumor growth and metastasization would be important to develop anti-tumor and anti-metastatic strategies. Recently, Rag2-/-;gammac-/- mice, double knockout for genes involved in lymphocyte differentiation, had been developed (CIEA, Central Institute for Experimental Animals, Kawasaki, Japan). Studies of human sarcoma metastasization in Rag2-/-; gammac-/- mice (lacking B, T and NK functionality) revealed their high metastatic efficiency and allowed the expression of human metastatic phenotypes not detectable in the conventionally used nude murine model. In vitro analysis to investigate the molecular mechanisms involved in the specific pattern of human sarcomas metastasization revealed the importance of liver-produced growth and motility factors, in particular the insulin-like growth factors (IGFs). The involvement of this growth factor was then demonstrated in vivo through inhibition of IGF signalling pathway. Due to the high growth and metastatic propensity of tumor cells, Rag2-/-;gammac-/- mice were used as model to investigate the metastatic behavior of rhabdomyosarcoma cells engineered to improve the differentiation. It has been recently shown that this immunodeficient model can be reconstituted with a human immune system through the injection of human cord blood progenitor cells. The work illustrated in this thesis revealed that the injection of different human progenitor cells (CD34+ or CD133+) showed peculiar engraftment and differentiation abilities. Experiments of cell vaccination were performed to investigate the functionality of the engrafted human immune system and the induction of specific human immune responses. Results from such experiments will allow to collect informations about human immune responses activated during cell vaccination and to define the best reconstitution and experimental conditions to create a humanized model in which to study, in a preclinical setting, immunological antitumor strategies.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Antognoli, Agnese
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze biologiche, biomediche e biotecnologiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
immuonodepressed mice, animal models, metastasis, antitumor therapies, hematopoietic stem cells, human immune system reconstitution
Data di discussione
16 Aprile 2010

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