Mucosal transmission is a major route by which individuals become infected with HIV. Investigation into the mechanism by which mucosal transmission of HIV occurs would be greatly facilitated by the development of a small animal model infectible with HIV by the mucosal route. We have previously described a SCID-hu mouse model, in which human thymic and liver tissues are implanted under both kidney capsules (thy/liv-SCID-hu mice), which are populated in the periphery with high numbers of human T cells and that develop disseminated HIV-1 infection after intraperitoneal injection. To expand further the usefulness of the thy/liv-SCID-hu mouse as a model for studying mucosal transmission of HIV, thy/liv-SCID-hu mice were subcutaneously implanted with human intestinal tissue in a manner that maintained the lumen. Four months later, the histological appearance of the implanted intestine resembled that of normal human bowel tissue and the lamina propria was populated with human T cells. Six weeks after introduction of HIV into the lumen of the intestinal implant, the mice developed disseminated HIV infection. Scattered HIV-infected cells were detected in the lamina propria of the implant, indicating that HIV infection in these mice was mediated by transmission of the virus across the mucosa of the human intestinal implant. Thus, our modified thy/liv-SCID-hu mice transplanted with human bowel tissue should provide a novel model for investigating mucosal transmission of HIV.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases