Development of a novel humanized mouse model for improved evaluation of in vivo anti-cancer effects of anti-PD-1 antibody

Ikumi Katano, Asami Hanazawa, Iyo Otsuka, Takuya Yamaguchi, Misa Mochizuki, Kenji Kawai, Ryoji Ito, Motohito Goto, Takahiro Kagawa, Takeshi Takahashi

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have revolutionized the treatment of cancer in the clinic. Further discovery of novel drugs or therapeutic protocols that enhance efficacy requires reliable animal models that recapitulate human immune responses to ICI treatment in vivo. In this study, we utilized an immunodeficient NOG mouse substrain deficient for mouse FcγR genes, NOG-FcγR−/− mice, to evaluate the anti-cancer effects of nivolumab, an anti-programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) antibody. After reconstitution of human immune systems by human hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (huNOG-FcγR−/− mice), four different programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1)-positive human cancer cell lines were tested. Among them, the growth of three cell lines was strongly suppressed by nivolumab in huNOG-FcγR−/− mice, but not in conventional huNOG mice. Accordingly, immunohistochemistry demonstrated the enhanced infiltration of human T cells into tumor parenchyma in only nivolumab-treated huNOG-FcγR−/− mice. Consistently, the number of human T cells was increased in the spleen in huNOG-FcγR−/− mice by nivolumab but not in huNOG mice. Furthermore, human PD-L1 expression was strongly induced in the spleen of huNOG-FcγR−/− mice. Collectively, our results suggest that the anti-cancer effects of anti-PD-1 antibodies can be detected more clearly in NOG-FcγR−/− mice than in NOG mice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number21087
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


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