Respirovirus infection can cause viral pneumonia and acute lung injury (ALI). The interleukin-1 (IL-1) family consists of proinflammatory cytokines that play essential roles in regulating immune and inflammatory responses in vivo. IL-1 signaling is associated with protection against respiratory influenza virus infection by mediation of the pulmonary anti-viral immune response and inflammation. We analyzed the infiltration lung immune leukocytes and cytokines that contribute to inflammatory lung pathology and mortality of fatal H1N1 virus-infected IL-1 receptor 1 (IL-1R1) deficient mice. Results showed that early innate immune cells and cytokine/chemokine dysregulation were observed with significantly decreased neutrophil infiltration and IL-6, TNF-α, G-CSF, KC, and MIP-2 cytokine levels in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of infected IL-1R1-/- mice in comparison with that of wild type infected mice. The adaptive immune response against the H1N1 virus in IL-1R1-/- mice was impaired with downregulated anti-viral Th1 cell, CD8+ cell, and antibody functions, which contributes to attenuated viral clearance. Histological analysis revealed reduced lung inflammation during early infection but severe lung pathology in late infection in IL-1R1-/- mice compared with that in WT infected mice. Moreover, the infected IL-1R1-/- mice showed markedly reduced neutrophil generation in bone marrow and neutrophil recruitment to the inflamed lung. Together, these results suggest that IL-1 signaling is associated with pulmonary anti-influenza immune response and inflammatory lung injury, particularly via the influence on neutrophil mobilization and inflammatory cytokine/chemokine production.
The tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri) is a promising laboratory animal that possesses a closer genetic relationship to primates than to rodents. In addition, advantages such as small size, easy breeding, and rapid reproduction make the tree shrew an ideal subject for the study of human disease. Numerous tree shrew disease models have been generated in biological and medical studies in recent years. Here we summarize current tree shrew disease models, including models of infectious diseases, cancers, depressive disorders, drug addiction, myopia, metabolic diseases, and immune-related diseases. With the success of tree shrew transgenic technology, this species will be increasingly used in biological and medical studies in the future.
The Chinese tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri chinensis), a squirrel-like and rat-sized mammal, has a wide distribution in Southeast Asia, South and Southwest China and has many unique characteristics that make it suitable for use as an experimental animal. There have been many studies using the tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri) aimed at increasing our understanding of fundamental biological mechanisms and for the modeling of human diseases and therapeutic responses. The recent release of a publicly available annotated genome sequence of the Chinese tree shrew and its genome database (www.treeshrewdb.org) has offered a solid base from which it is possible to elucidate the basic biological properties and create animal models using this species. The extensive characterization of key factors and signaling pathways in the immune and nervous systems has shown that tree shrews possess both conserved and unique features relative to primates. Hitherto, the tree shrew has been successfully used to create animal models for myopia, depression, breast cancer, alcohol-induced or non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases, herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections, to name a few. The recent successful genetic manipulation of the tree shrew has opened a new avenue for the wider usage of this animal in biomedical research. In this opinion paper, I attempt to summarize the recent research advances that have used the Chinese tree shrew, with a focus on the new knowledge obtained by using the biological properties identified using the tree shrew genome, a proposal for the genome-based approach for creating animal models, and the genetic manipulation of the tree shrew. With more studies using this species and the application of cutting-edge gene editing techniques, the tree shrew will continue to be under the spot light as a viable animal model for investigating the basis of many different human diseases.
Brain development and aging are associated with alterations in multiple epigenetic systems, including DNA methylation and demethylation patterns. Here, we observed that the levels of the 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) ten-eleven translocation (TET) enzyme-mediated active DNA demethylation products were dynamically changed and involved in postnatal brain development and aging in tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri chinensis). The levels of 5hmC in multiple anatomic structures showed a gradual increase throughout postnatal development, whereas a significant decrease in 5hmC was found in several brain regions in aged tree shrews, including in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, but not the cerebellum. Active changes in Tet mRNA levels indicated that TET2 and TET3 predominantly contributed to the changes in 5hmC levels. Our findings provide new insight into the dynamic changes in 5hmC levels in tree shrew brains during postnatal development and aging processes.
Viral vector transfection systems are among the simplest of biological agents with the ability to transfer genes into the central nervous system. In brain research, a series of powerful and novel gene editing technologies are based on these systems. Although many viral vectors are used in rodents, their full application has been limited in non-human primates. To identify viral vectors that can stably and effectively express exogenous genes within non-human primates, eleven commonly used recombinant adeno-associated viral and lentiviral vectors, each carrying a gene to express green or red fluorescence, were injected into the parietal cortex of four rhesus monkeys. The expression of fluorescent cells was used to quantify transfection efficiency. Histological results revealed that recombinant adeno-associated viral vectors, especially the serotype 2/9 coupled with the cytomegalovirus, human synapsin I, or Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II promoters, and lentiviral vector coupled with the human ubiquitin C promoter, induced higher expression of fluorescent cells, representing high transfection efficiency. This is the first comparison of transfection efficiencies of different viral vectors carrying different promoters and serotypes in non-human primates (NHPs). These results can be used as an aid to select optimal vectors to transfer exogenous genes into the central nervous system of non-human primates.
Polymeric immunoglobulin receptors(pIgR) are key participants in the formation and secretion of secretory IgA(S-IgA), which is critical for the prevention of microbial infection and colonization in the respiratory system. Although increased respiratory colonization and infections are common in HIV/AIDS, little is known about the expression of pIgR in the airway mucosa of these patients. To address this, the expression levels of pIgR in the tracheal mucosa and lungs of SHIV/SIV-infected rhesus macaques were examined by real-time RTPCR and confocal microscopy. We found that the levels of both PIGR mRNA and pIgR immunoreactivity were lower in the tracheal mucosa of SHIV/SIV-infected rhesus macaques than that in non-infected rhesus macaques, and the difference in pIgR immunoreactivity was statistically significant. IL-17A, which enhances pIgR expression, was also changed in the same direction as that of pIgR. In contrast to changes in the tracheal mucosa, pIgR and IL-17A levels were higher in the lungs of infected rhesus macaques. These results indicated abnormal pIgR expression in SHIV/SIV, and by extension HIV infections, which might partially result from IL-17A alterations and might contribute to the increased microbial colonization and infection related to pulmonary complications in HIV/AIDS.
Early rearing experiences are important in one's whole life, whereas early adverse rearing experience(EARE) is usually related to various physical and mental disorders in later life. Although there were many studies on human and animals, regarding the effect of EARE on brain development, neuroendocrine systems, as well as the consequential mental disorders and behavioral abnormalities, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Due to the close genetic relationship and similarity in social organizations with humans, non-human primate(NHP) studies were performed for over 60 years. Various EARE models were developed to disrupt the early normal interactions between infants and mothers or peers. Those studies provided important insights of EARE induced effects on the physiological and behavioral systems of NHPs across life span, such as social behaviors(including disturbance behavior, social deficiency, sexual behavior, etc), learning and memory ability, brain structural and functional developments(including influences on neurons and glia cells, neuroendocrine systems, e.g., hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal(HPA) axis, etc). In this review, the effects of EARE and the underlying epigenetic mechanisms were comprehensively summarized and the possibility of rehabilitation was discussed.
Lampreys belong to the superclass Cyclostomata and represent the most ancient group of vertebrates. Existing for over 360 million years, they are known as living fossils due to their many evolutionally conserved features. They are not only a keystone species for studying the origin and evolution of vertebrates, but also one of the best models for researching vertebrate embryonic development and organ differentiation. From the perspective of genetic information, the lamprey genome remains primitive compared with that of other higher vertebrates, and possesses abundant functional genes. Through scientific and technological progress, scientists have conducted in-depth studies on the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems of lampreys. Such research has significance for understanding and revealing the origin and evolution of vertebrates, and could contribute to a greater understanding of human diseases and treatments. This review presents the current progress and significance of lamprey research.
Northern pig-tailed macaques (NPMs, Macaca leonina) are susceptible to HIV-1 infection largely due to the loss of HIV-1-restricting factor TRIM5α. However, great impediments still exist in the persistent replication of HIV-1 in vivo, suggesting some viral restriction factors are reserved in this host. The APOBEC3 proteins have demonstrated a capacity to restrict HIV-1 replication, but their inhibitory effects in NPMs remain elusive. In this study, we cloned the NPM A3A-A3H genes, and determined by BLAST searching that their coding sequences (CDSs) showed 99% identity to the corresponding counterparts from rhesus and southern pig-tailed macaques. We further analyzed the anti-HIV-1 activities of the A3A-A3H genes, and found that A3G and A3F had the greatest anti-HIV-1 activity compared with that of other members. The results of this study indicate that A3G and A3F might play critical roles in limiting HIV-1 replication in NPMs in vivo. Furthermore, this research provides valuable information for the optimization of monkey models of HIV-1 infection.
Insects compose more than half of all living organisms on earth, playing essential roles in global ecosystems and forming complex relationships with humans. Insect research has significant biological and practical importance. However, the application of genetic manipulation technology has long been restricted to several model insects only, such as gene knockout in Drosophila, which has severely restrained the development of insect biology research. Recently, with the increase in the release of insect genome data and the introduction of the CRISPR/Cas9 system for efficient genetic modification, it has been possible to conduct meaningful functional studies in a broad array of insect species. Here, we summarize the advances in CRISPR/Cas9 in different insect species, discuss methods for its promotion, and consider its application in future insect studies. This review provides detailed information about the application of the CRISPR/Cas9 system in insect research and presents possible ways to improve its use in functional studies and insect pest control.
Model organisms have long been important in biology and medicine due to their specific characteristics. Amphibians, especially Xenopus, play key roles in answering fundamental questions on developmental biology, regeneration, genetics, and toxicology due to their large and abundant eggs, as well as their versatile embryos, which can be readily manipulated and developed in vivo. Furthermore, amphibians have also proven to be of considerable benefit in human disease research due to their conserved cellular developmental and genomic organization. This review gives a brief introduction on the progress and limitations of these animal models in biology and human disease research, and discusses the potential and challenge of Microhyla fissipes as a new model organism.
In the past three years, RNA-guided Cas9 nuclease from the microbial clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) adaptive immune system has been used to facilitate efficient genome editing in many model and non-model animals. However, its application in nonhuman primates is still at the early stage, though in view of the similarities in anatomy, physiology, behavior and genetics, closely related nonhuman primates serve as optimal models for human biology and disease studies. In this review, we summarize the current proceedings of gene editing using CRISPR/Cas9 in nonhuman primates.
With the development of high-throughput sequencing technology in the post-genomic era, researchers have concentrated their efforts on elucidating the relationships between genes and their corresponding functions. Recently, important progress has been achieved in the generation of genetically modified mice based on CRISPR/Cas9 and haploid embryonic stem cell (haESC) approaches, which provide new platforms for gene function analysis, human disease modeling, and gene therapy. Here, we review the CRISPR/Cas9 and haESC technology for the generation of genetically modified mice and discuss the key challenges in the application of these approaches.
Stress from dominance ranks in human societies, or that of other social animals, especially nonhuman primates, can have negative influences on health. Individuals holding different social status may be burdened with various stress levels. The middle class experiences a special stress situation within the dominance hierarchy due to its position between the higher and lower classes. Behaviorally, questions about where middle-class stress comes from and how individuals adapt to middle-class stress remain poorly understood in nonhuman primates. In the present study, social interactions, including aggression, avoidance, grooming and mounting behaviors, between beta males, as well as among group members holding higher or lower social status, were analyzed in captive male-only cynomolgus monkey groups. We found that aggressive tension from the higher hierarchy members was the main origin of stress for middle-class individuals. However, behaviors such as attacking lower hierarchy members immediately after being the recipient of aggression, as well as increased avoidance, grooming and mounting toward both higher and lower hierarchy members helped alleviate middle-class stress and were particular adaptations to middle-class social status.
：Revealing how molecular mechanisms influence higher brain circuits in primates will be essential for understanding how genetic insults lead to increased risk of cognitive disorders. Traditionally, modulatory influences on higher cortical circuits have been examined using lesion techniques, where a brain region is depleted of a particular transmitter to determine how its loss impacts cognitive function. For example, depletion of catecholamines or acetylcholine from the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex produces striking deficits in working memory abilities. More directed techniques have utilized direct infusions of drug into a specific cortical site to try to circumvent compensatory changes that are common following transmitter depletion. The effects of drug on neuronal firing patterns are often studied using iontophoresis, where a minute amount of drug is moved into the brain using a tiny electrical current, thus minimizing the fluid flow that generally disrupts neuronal recordings. All of these approaches can be compared to systemic drug administration, which remains a key arena for the development of effective therapeutics for human cognitive disorders. Most recently, viral techniques are being developed to be able to manipulate proteins for which there is no developed pharmacology, and to allow optogenetic manipulations in primate cortex. As the association cortices greatly expand in brain evolution, research in nonhuman primates is particularly important for understanding the modulatory regulation of our highest order cognitive operations.
Chemokine receptors CXCR4 and CCR5 are indispensable co-receptors for HIV-1 entry into host cells. In our previous study, we identified that dopamine receptor-interacting protein 78 (DRiP78) and Na+-H+ exchanger regulatory factor 1 (NHERF1) are the CXCR4 and CCR5 homo- or hetero-dimer-interacting proteins. DRiP78 and NHERF1 are able to influence the co-receptor internalization and intracellular trafficking. Over-expression of NHERF1 affects the ligands or HIV-1 gp120-induced CCR5 internalization and HIV-1 production. It is reasonable to speculate that DRiP78 and NHERF1, as well as the signaling pathways involved in viral replication, would probably affect HIV-1 replication through regulating the co-receptors. In this present study, we designed two short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) targeting the DRiP78 and NHERF1, respectively, and constructed the pLenti6/BLOCK-iT-DEST lentiviral plasmids expressing DRiP78 or NHERF1 shRNA. The packaged lentiviruses were used to transduce the widely-applied HIV-1 model cell line GHOST(3). Then, cells with stable knockdown were established through selecting transduced cells with Blasticidin. This study, for the first time, reported the establishment of the GHOST(3) with DRiP78 and NHERF1 knockdown, which is the first stable cell line with HIV-1 co-receptor-interacting molecular defects.
It is well known that excessive long-term alcohol consumption is harmful, especially in pregnant women. In the present study, the Kunming white mouse was used as an animal model and indirect immunofluorescence was performed to analyze the toxic effects of alcohol on early pre-implantation embryos. H3K9 acetylation immunofluorescence could not be detected in MII oocytes. H3K9 acetylation levels in the treatment group were higher than in the control group during the morula stage, and contrary to results during the blastocyst stage. Other stages showed no obvious differences for in vivo embryos. For in vitro embryos, almost no difference was found between the two experimental groups across all stages, and both groups showed increasing H3K9 acetylation levels (except at the 2-cell stage). This study shows that H3K9 acetylation levels in early pre-implantation embryos are notably impacted by excessive alcohol ingestion by females. These data are the first step in understanding the epigenetic mechanism of alcohol toxicity in early pre-implantation mouse embryos.
To explore the neural mechanisms mediating aging-related visual function declines, we compared the expressions of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its high affinity receptor-tyrosine kinase B (TrkB) between young and old adult cats. Nissl staining was used to display neurons in each layer of the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN). The BDNF- and TrkB receptor-immunoreactive neurons were labeled immunohistochemically, observed under optical microscope and photographed. Their neuronal density and immunoreactive intensity were measured. Results showed that the mean density of the Nissl stained neurons in each LGN layer were comparable between old and young adult cats, and their BDNF and TrkB proteins were widely expressed in all LGN layers. However, compared with young adult cats, both the density and optical absorbance intensity of BDNF- and TrkB-immunoreactive cells in each LGN layer in old cats were significantly decreased. These findings indicate that the decreased expressions of BDNF and TrkB proteins in the LGN may be an important factor inducing the compromised inhibition in the central visual nucleus and the functional visual decline in senescent individuals.
Under free field conditions, we used single unit extracellular recording to study the detection of acoustic signals by neurons in the ventral nucleus of the lateral lemniscus (VNLL) in Kunming mouse (Mus musculus). The results indicate two types of firing patterns in VNLL neurons: onset and sustained. The first spike latency (FSL) of onset neurons was shorter than that of sustained neurons. With increasing sound intensity, the FSL of onset neurons remained stable and that of sustained neurons was shortened, indicating that onset neurons are characterized by precise timing. By comparing the values of Q10 and Q30 of the frequency tuning curve, no differences between onset and sustained neurons were found, suggesting that firing pattern and frequency tuning are not correlated. Among the three types of rate-intensity function (RIF) found in VNLL neurons, the proportion of monotonic RIF is the largest, followed by saturated RIF, and non-monotonic RIF. The dynamic range (DR) in onset neurons was shorter than in sustained neurons, indicating different capabilities in intensity tuning of different firing patterns and that these differences are correlated with the type of RIF. Our results also show that the best frequency of VNLL neurons was negatively correlated with depth, supporting the view point that the VNLL has frequency topologic organization.
Endosymbionts influence many aspects of their hosts' health conditions, including physiology, development, immunity, metabolism, etc. Tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri chinensis) have attracted increasing attention in modeling human diseases and therapeutic responses due to their close relationship with primates. To clarify the situation of symbiotic bacteria from their body surface, oral cavity, and anus, 12 wild and 12 the third generation of captive tree shrews were examined. Based on morphological and cultural characteristics, physiological and biochemical tests, as well as the 16S rDNA full sequence analysis, 12 bacteria strains were isolated and identified from the wild tree shrews: body surface: Bacillus subtilis (detection rate 42%), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (25%), Staphlococcus aureus (33%), S. Epidermidis (75%), Micrococcus luteus (25%), Kurthia gibsonii (17%); oral cavity: Neisseria mucosa (58%), Streptococcus pneumonia (17%); anus: Enterococcus faecalis (17%), Lactococus lactis (33%), Escherichia coli (92%), Salmonella typhosa (17%); whereas, four were indentified from the third generation captive tree shrews: body surface: S. epidermidis (75%); oral cavity: N.mucosa (67%); anus: L. lactis (33%), E. coli (100%). These results indicate that S. epidermidis, N. mucosa, L. lactis and E. coli were major bacteria in tree shrews, whereas, S. aureus, M. luteus, K. gibsonii, E. faecalis and S. typhosa were species-specific flora. This study facilitates the future use of tree shrews as a standard experimental animal and improves our understanding of the relationship between endosymbionts and their hosts.
Coxsackie virus A16 (CA16) is commonly recognized as one of the main human pathogens of hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD). The clinical manifestations of HFMD include vesicles of hand, foot and mouth in young children and severe inflammatory CNS lesions. In this study, experimentally CA16 infected tree shrews(Tupaia belangeri) were used to investigate CA16 pathogenesis. The results showed that both the body temperature and the percentages of blood neutrophilic granulocytes / monocytes of CA16 infected tree shrews increased at 4-7 days post infection. Dynamic distributions of CA16 in different tissues and stools were found at different infection stages. Moreover, the pathological changes in CNS and other organs were also observed. These findings indicate that tree shrews can be used as a viable animal model to study CA16 infection.
Pig-tailed macaques (Macaca nemistrina group) have been extensively used as non-human primate animal models for various human diseases in recent years, notably for AIDS research due to their sensitivity to HIV-1. Northern pig-tailed macaques (M. leonina) are distributed in China and other surrounding Southeast Asia countries. Although northern pig-tailed macaques have been bred on a large scale as experimental animals since 2012, the reference value of normal levels of leukocytes is not available. To obtain such information, 62 blood samples from male and female healthy northern pig-tailed macaques at different ages were collected. The normal range of major leukocyte subpopulations, such as T lymphocytes, B lymphocytes, natural killer (NK) cells, monocytes, and the expression levels of activation or differentiation related molecules (CD38, HLA-DR, CCR5, CD21, IgD, CD80 and CD86) on lymphocytes were analyzed by flow cytometry. The counts of B cells decreased with age, but those of CD8+ T cells and NK cells and the frequency of CD38+HLA-DR+CD4+ T cells were positively correlated with age. The counts of leukocyte subpopulations were higher in males than those in females except for CD4+ T cells. Males also showed higher expression levels of IgD and CD21 within B cells. This study provides basic data about the leukocyte subpopulations of northern pig-tailed macaques and compares this species with commonly used Chinese rhesus macaques (M. mulatta), which is meaningful for the biomedical application of northern pig-tailed macaques.
Non-human primates (NHPs) are phylogenetically close to humans, with many similarities in terms of physiology, anatomy, immunology, as well as neurology, all of which make them excellent experimental models for biomedical research. Compared with developed countries in America and Europe, China has relatively rich primate resources and has continually aimed to develop NHPs resources. Currently, China is a leading producer and a major supplier of NHPs on the international market. However, there are some deficiencies in feeding and management that have hampered China's growth in NHP research and materials. Nonetheless, China has recently established a number of primate animal models for human diseases and achieved marked scientific progress on infectious diseases, cardiovascular diseases, endocrine diseases, reproductive diseases, neurological diseases, and ophthalmic diseases, etc. Advances in these fields via NHP models will undoubtedly further promote the development of China's life sciences and pharmaceutical industry, and enhance China's position as a leader in NHP research. This review covers the current status of NHPs in China and other areas, highlighting the latest developments in disease models using NHPs, as well as outlining basic problems and proposing effective countermeasures to better utilize NHP resources and further foster NHP research in China.
C57BL/6J and BALB/cJ mice display significant differences in sociability and response to drugs, but the phenotypic variability of their susceptibility to cocaine is still not well known. In this study, the differences between these two mice strains in the persistence of cocaine-induced conditioned place preference (CPP), as well as the locomotion and social behaviors after the 24-hour withdrawal from a four-day cocaine (20 mg/kg/day) administration were investigated. The results showed that the cocaine-induced CPP persisted over two weeks in C57BL/6J mice, while it diminished within one week among BALB/cJ mice. After 24-hours of cocaine withdrawal, high levels of locomotion as well as low levels of social interaction and aggressive behavior were found in C57BL/6J mice, but no significant changes were found in BALB/cJ mice, indicating that cocaine-induced CPP persistence, locomotion and social behavior are not consistent between these two strains, and that overall C57BL/6J mice are more susceptible to cocaine than BALB/cJ mice at the tested doses.
The social transmission of food preferences (STFP) is a behavioural task of olfactory memory, in which an observer rat learns safe food odours from a demonstrator rat, and shows preference for this odour in a subsequent choice test. However, previous studies have failed to detect the transmission of information about food of potential danger and food aversion using STFP test. In this study, we tested how demonstrators' health affects the exchange of odour information and whether observers can learn danger information from an unhealthy demonstrator. As expected, the observer rat formed an odour preference after interacting with a demonstrator rat that had just eaten food containing a new odour, however, odour preference rather than aversion was also formed after interacting with a demonstrator rat injected with LiCl (used to induce gastric malaise). Furthermore, anaesthetized demonstrator rats and half-anaesthetized demonstrator rats, which showed obvious motor deficits suggesting an unhealthy state, also socially transmitted food preferences to observers. These results suggest that the social transmission of food preferences task is independent of a demonstrators' health, and that information about dangerous foods cannot be transmitted using this behavioural task.
In the current study, the alopecia areata gene was introduced into the C57BL/6 (B6) mouse through repeated backcrossing/intercrossing, and the allelic homozygosity of congenic AAtjmice (named B6.KM-AA) was verified using microsatellites. The gross appearance, growth characteristics, pathological changes in skin, and major organs of B6.KM-AA mice were observed. Counts and proportions of CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes in peripheral blood were determined by flow cytometry. Results show that congenic B6.KM-AA mice were obtained after 10 generations of backcrossing/intercrossing. B6.KM-AA mice grew slower than B6 control mice and AA skin lesions were developed by four weeks of age. The number of hair follicles was reduced, but hair structures were normal. Loss of hair during disease progression was associated with CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes infiltration peri-and intra-hair follicles. No pathological changes were found in other organs except for the skin. In the peripheral blood of B6.KM-AA mice, the percentage of CD4+ T cells was lower and percentage of CD8+ T cells higher than in control mice. These findings indicate that B6.KM-AA mice are characterized by a dysfunctional immune system, retarded development and T-cell infiltration mediated hair loss, making them a promising new animal model for human alopecia areata.
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