Analysis of the hairless mouse as a model for the effects of aging on the immune system

David T. Harris, Jeffrey LoCascio, Alicia Acevedo, George B. Olson, Judith Bard, Edward A. Boyse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Studies into the effects of aging on the immune system are hampered by the lack of a suitable animal model that is readily available and cost efficient. The mutant mouse, hairless (hr/hr genotype), has been shown to undergo an accelerated thymic involution with accompanying immunodeficiency. Thus, this strain of mouse has been proposed as a model for studying the interactions of aging and immune function. We have investigated the effects of homozygous hr gene expression over time on the immune function of these mice. It was observed that homozygous hr gene expression had minimal effects on peripheral lymphocyte subset compositions but did appear to result in changes in thymic differentiation. Further, hr/hr mice displayed decreased proliferative responses to IL2 and mitogen stimulation, although cytotoxic responses (both NK and T cell mediated) appeared normal. These defects appear to be attributable to T helper cell dysfunction. Each of the changes found in hr/hr mice were distinct from those seen with age-matched control mice. Thus, the hr/hr inbred strain of mouse does not appear to be a suitable model for use in analyzing the effects of aging on the immune system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-26
Number of pages8
JournalImmunology Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1993


  • Aging model
  • Immune function
  • hr mouse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Analysis of the hairless mouse as a model for the effects of aging on the immune system'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this