Despite its drawbacks, the hu-SCID mouse chimera (mainly obtained by intraperitoneal transplantation of human lymphocytes) represents one of the most accessible models for studying some of the aspects of human autoimmune diseases and, in general, of the human immune system. Although long-term studies are probably hampered by the fact that the mouse thymic environment operates a T cell selection restricted to murine antigens (Figure 1), the continuing improvements in achieving a longer persistence of non-antimurine-reacting human cells in the SCID mouse after transplantation are encouraging and a better and more complete engraftment of human lymphoid cells into mouse organs able to sustain a correct lymphopoiesis is conceivable in the near future.

See also: B lymphocyte differentiation; Chemokines; Immunodeficiency, animal models; Severe combined immunodeficiency; T lymphocyte differentiation; Xenotransplantation.

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