Mice with immunodeficiency provide an excellent in vivo model for cell transfer experiments. In this study, we compare the extent of immune deficiency of the original CB17 severe combined immune-deficient (SCID) mice with that of two other strains of immune-deficient mice, the recently developed C3H SCID mice and the beige/nude/X-linked immune-deficient (BNX) mice. Detectable levels of serum lg (higher than 0.4 microgram/ml) were found in 79% of CB17 SCID mice studied (n = 24) and in all BNX mice (n = 12); some leaky CB17 SCID mice had normal levels of Ig. In contrast, only 15% of C3H SCID mice (n = 61) had detectable serum lg; the highest Ig level in this strain was 9.6 micrograms/ml. Age had no effect on serum Ig concentrations of C3H SCID mice; in contrast, all old (> 1-year-old) CB17 SCID mice studied had detectable levels of serum Ig. Transfer of syngeneic, normal, neonatal thymocytes increased serum Ig of SCID mouse origin to near-normal levels in all CB17 SCID mice but had no effect on serum lg concentrations in C3H SCID mice. Treatment with anti-asialo-GM-1 antiserum to abrogate NK cell activity increased serum Ig levels in 37% of CB17 SCID mice but had no effect on Ig production in C3H SCID mice. Flow cytometric analysis failed to identify mature T or B cells in C3H SCID mice; in contrast, some leaky CB17 SCID mice had detectable numbers of T and B cells in the peritoneal cavity. After immunization with bacteriophage phi X 174, neither C3H nor CB17 SCID mice, including leaky mice, produced specific antibody to phage. In contrast, BNX mice produced small but significant amounts of anti-phage antibody. These results indicate that, of the three strains of immune-deficient mice, C3H SCID mice have the most severe immune defect. We predict that C3H SCID mice will be best suited for cell transfer experiments.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.