Human and mouse bones physiologically integrate in a humanized mouse model while maintaining species-specific ultrastructure

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Science Advances  28 Oct 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 44, eabb9265
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abb9265


Humanized mouse models are increasingly studied to recapitulate human-like bone physiology. While human and mouse bone architectures differ in multiple scales, the extent to which chimeric human-mouse bone physiologically interacts and structurally integrates remains unknown. Here, we identify that humanized bone is formed by a mosaic of human and mouse collagen, structurally integrated within the same bone organ, as shown by immunohistochemistry. Combining this with materials science techniques, we investigate the extracellular matrix of specific human and mouse collagen regions. We show that human-like osteocyte lacunar-canalicular network is retained within human collagen regions and is distinct to that of mouse tissue. This multiscale analysis shows that human and mouse tissues physiologically integrate into a single, functional bone tissue while maintaining their species-specific ultrastructural differences. These results offer an original method to validate and advance tissue-engineered human-like bone in chimeric animal models, which grow to be eloquent tools in biomedical research.

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