Because of the above features, nude mice have served in the laboratory to gain insights into the immune system, leukemia, solid tumors, AIDS and other forms of immune deficiency as well as leprosy. Moreover, the absence of functioning T cells prevents nude mice from rejecting not only allografts, but they cannot even reject xenografts; that is, grafts of tissue from another species.
Most strains of nude mice are slightly "leaky" and do have a few T cells, especially as they age. For this reason, nude mice are less popular in research today, since knockout mice with more complete defects in the immune system have been constructed (e.g. RAG1 and RAG2 knockout mice).
Nude mice have a spontaneous deletion in the FOXN1 gene. (Humans with mutations in FOXN1 also are athymic and immune deficient.) Mice with a targeted deletion in the FOXN1 ("knockout" mice) also show the "nude" phenotype. Since nude females have underdeveloped mammary glands and are unable to effectively nurse their young, nude males are bred with heterozygous females.
Intratumoral Distribution of Radiolabeled Antibody and Radioimmunotherapy in Experimental Liver Metastases Model of Nude Mouse.(Abstract)
May 10, 1999; Cancer Immunotherapy Sato, N.; Saga, T.; Sakahara, H.; Yao, Z.S.; Nakamoto, Y.; Zhang, M.L.; Kuroki, M.; Matsuoka, Y.; Iida, Y.;...
Ipriflavone inhibits osteolytic bone metastasis of human breast cancer cells in a nude mouse model. (Abstracts).(Brief Article)
Oct 01, 2002; Iwasaki T, Mukai M, Tsujimura T, et al. Int J Cancer 2002;100:381-387. Osteolytic bone metastasis is a frequent problem in the...