Background: The use of immunodeficient mice transplanted with human hematopoietic stem cells is an accepted approach to study human-specific infectious diseases such as HIV-1 and to investigate multiple aspects of human immune system development. However, mouse and human are different in sialylation patterns of proteins due to evolutionary mutations of the CMP-N-acetylneuraminic acid hydroxylase (CMAH) gene that prevent formation of N-glycolylneuraminic acid from N-acetylneuraminic acid. How changes in the mouse glycoproteins' chemistry affect phenotype and function of transplanted human hematopoietic stem cells and mature human immune cells in the course of HIV-1 infection are not known. Results: We mutated mouse CMAH in the NOD/scid-IL2Rγc -/- (NSG) mouse strain, which is widely used for the transplantation of human cells, using the CRISPR/Cas9 system. The new strain provides a better environment for human immune cells. Transplantation of human hematopoietic stem cells leads to broad B cells repertoire, higher sensitivity to HIV-1 infection, and enhanced proliferation of transplanted peripheral blood lymphocytes. The mice showed no effect on the clearance of human immunoglobulins and enhanced transduction efficiency of recombinant adeno-associated viral vector rAAV2/DJ8. Conclusion: NSG-cmah -/- mice expand the mouse models suitable for human cells transplantation, and this new model has advantages in generating a human B cell repertoire. This strain is suitable to study different aspects of the human immune system development, provide advantages in patient-derived tissue and cell transplantation, and could allow studies of viral vectors and infectious agents that are sensitive to human-like sialylation of mouse glycoproteins.
- CMP-N-acetylneuraminic acid hydroxylase
- Hematopoietic stem cells
- NOD/scid-IL2Rγ mice
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