The NOD-LtSZ scid/scid (NOD/SCID) repopulation assay is the criterion for the study of self-renewal and multilineage differentiation of human hematopoietic stem cells. An important shortcoming of this model is the reported absence of T-cell development. We studied this aspect of the model and investigated how it could be optimized to support T-cell development. Occasionally, low-grade thymic engraftment was observed in NOD/SCID mice or Rag2-/-γc -/- mice. In contrast, the treatment of NOD/SCID mice with a monoclonal antibody against the murine interleukin-2Rβ, (IL-2Rβ) known to decrease natural killer cell activity, resulted in human thymopoiesis in up to 60% of the mice. T-cell development was phenotypically normal and resulted in polyclonal, mature, and functional CD1- TCRαβ+ CD4+ or CD8+ single-positive T cells. In mice with ongoing thymopoiesis, peripheral T cells were observed. TREC analysis showed that T cells with a naive phenotype (CD45RA+) emerged from the thymus. In approximately half of these mice, the peripheral T cells included a pauciclonal outgrowth of CD45RO+ cells. These data suggest that all elements of a functional immune system were present in these animals.,
Department of Immunology

Kerre, T., de Smet, G., de Smedt, M., Zippelius, A., Pittet, D., Langerak, A., … Plum, J. (2002). Adapted NOD/SCID model supports development of phenotypically and functionally mature T cells from human umbilical cord blood CD34+ cells. Blood, 99(5), 1620–1626. doi:10.1182/blood.V99.5.1620