Childhood T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) is one of the most common childhood cancers. It is reported that preconditioning sublethally irradiated immunodeficient NOD/SCID (nonobese diabetic/X-linked severe combined immunodeficient) mice with human cord blood mononuclear cells facilitates the engraftment, expansion, and dissemination in these mice of primary T-ALL cells obtained from patients at the time of diagnosis. Cells recovered from mouse bone marrow or spleen resembled the original leukemia cells from patients with respect to surface lineage markers and T-cell receptor Vβ gene rearrangements. Moreover, the pattern of leukemia dissemination in mouse tissues, resulting in universally fatal leukemia, is reminiscent of the human clinical disease. In addition, the fidelity of the model to the human disease is documented with regard to the presence of morphologically identifiable human leukemia cells in mouse bone marrow and blood and the maintenance of leukemia-initiating capacity within the leukemia-engrafted mouse. Therefore, several lines of independent approaches are used to suggest that the engrafted cells are of human leukemia origin and are not derived from cord blood. The in vivo model described here should enable the study of the growth properties of primary T-ALL cells obtained from patients and should prove useful in evaluating the potential efficacy of therapeutic strategies directed toward T-ALL.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology