Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 26459320
Curr. Top. Microbiol. Immunol. 2016;395:191-208
Our incomplete understanding of the mechanisms that orchestrate human lymphocyte differentiation and condition human immune responses is in part due to the limited access to normal human tissue samples that can inform on these complex processes. In addition, in vitro culture conditions fail to recapitulate the three-dimensional microenvironments that influence cell-cell interactions and impact on immune outcomes. Small animals provide a preclinical model to dissect and probe immunity and over the past decades, development of immunodeficient hosts that can be engrafted with human hematopoietic precursors and mature cells have led to the development of new in vivo models to study human lymphocyte development and function. Natural killer (NK) cells are implicated in the recognition and elimination of pathogen-infected and transformed cells and belong to a family of diverse innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) that provide early immune defense against disease. Here, we summarize the use of humanized mouse models for the study of NK cell and group 1 ILCs and their respective roles in immunity and tissue homeostasis.