In a new study, the researchers report that a “humanized” mouse model with an implanted human immune system in need of organ transplantation helps better find a donor.
The current standard for organ donor search is based on human leukocyte antigen analysis. It is used to compare a potential recipient and donor of a number of proteins on the surface of their cells. They give an idea of how aggressively the recipient’s immune system can respond to the new organ.
In a new study, scientists have improved the protocol. They implanted the human immune system in mice. It turned out that the humanized mouse model can be used in evaluating any type of organ transplantation, as well as for stem cell transplantation in cancer, autoimmune diseases and other conditions when donor cells are used. Using model organisms is much faster, safer and more sensitive than the “gold standard,” the scientists say.
So far, the mouse system can only be used for living-related donors. However, scientists hope that it will find wider application in the future.