Yong, K.S.M., Ng, J.H.J., Her, Z. et al. Bat-mouse bone marrow chimera: a novel animal model for dissecting the uniqueness of the bat immune system. Sci Rep 8, 4726 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-22899-1
Bats are an important animal model with long lifespans, low incidences of tumorigenesis and an ability to asymptomatically harbour pathogens. Currently, in vivo studies of bats are hampered due to their low reproduction rates. To overcome this, we transplanted bat cells from bone marrow (BM) and spleen into an immunodeficient mouse strain NOD-scid IL-2R−/− (NSG), and have successfully established stable, long-term reconstitution of bat immune cells in mice (bat-mice). Immune functionality of our bat-mouse model was demonstrated through generation of antigen-specific antibody response by bat cells following immunization. Post-engraftment of total bat BM cells and splenocytes, bat immune cells survived, expanded and repopulated the mouse without any observable clinical abnormalities. Utilizing bat’s remarkable immunological functions, this novel model has a potential to be transformed into a powerful platform for basic and translational research.
This study was supported by grants NRF2012NRF-CRP001–056 (L.-F.W.), NMRC/BNIG/2026/2014 (C-A.D) and NMRC/BNIG/2005/2013 (I.H.M) from the National Research Foundation and National Medical Research Council in Singapore, and by the Joint Council Office Development Programme 1334k00082, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore (Q.C.). Q.C. is also supported by Singapore National Research Foundation Fellowship NRF-NRFF2017-03.