Frontiers in Immunology | VOL. 13
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Characterization of the immune system of Ellegaard Göttingen Minipigs - An important large animal model in experimental medicine

Publication Date Sep 20, 2022

Abstract

Interest in Ellegaard Göttingen Minipigs (EGMs) as a model in experimental medicine is continuously growing. The aim of this project is to increase the knowledge of the immune system of EGMs as information is still scarce. Therefore, we studied the postnatal maturation of their immune system from birth until 126 weeks of age. For the first 26 weeks of the study, animals were kept under pathogen-reduced conditions (SPF) and afterwards under conventional housing conditions. The development of the immune system was analyzed by monitoring changes in total numbers of leukocytes and lymphocytes of ten individuals and the composition of leukocyte populations by multi-color flow cytometry (FCM). We followed the presence of monocytes using monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against CD172a+ and CD163+ and B cells based on the expression of CD79a. NK cells were distinguished as CD3-CD16+CD8α+/dim cells and further subdivided using NKp46 (CD335) expression into NKp46-, NKp46+, and NKp46high NK cells. T-cell receptor (TCR) γδ T cells were defined by the expression of TCR-γδ and different subsets were determined by their CD2 and perforin expression. TCR-αβ T cells were classified by their CD8β+ or CD4 expression. For monitoring their differentiation, expression of CD27 and perforin was investigated for CD8β++ T cells and CD8α together with CD27 for CD4+ T cells. We clearly detected a postnatal development of immune cell composition and identified phenotypes indicative of differentiation within the respective leukocyte subsets. Examination of th...

Concepts

Development Of Immune System Effector Memory T-cell Experimental Medicine Composition Of Leukocyte Populations Expression Of TCR-γδ Conventional Housing Conditions Total Numbers Of Leukocytes Expression Of CD79a Effector Memory Changes In Total Numbers

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