CLL mouse models

The most widely accepted animal model for CLL is the Eµ-TCL1 mouse line. Due to overexpression of TCL1 in the B cell lineage, these mice develop a progressive CLL-like clonal disease with many characteristics of human CLL. We use this mouse model to analyze microenvironmental changes in a longitudinal approach. Thereby, we follow changes within the myeloid compartment as well as the blood serum composition before and during the development and progression of CLL to estimate their relevance for the disease. In addition, we use these mice to test the potential of immunomodulatory substances or other novel drugs that showed promising results in our in vitro studies for CLL treatment. As the development of CLL in the animals occurs late, approximately after 10 months, and has a heterogenous course of disease, adoptive transfer of murine CLL cells isolated from leukemic Eµ-TCL1 mice into syngenic wild-type animals are also performed to allow treatment studies in more homogenous animal cohorts.
To confirm efficacy of novel drugs for human CLL cells in vivo, we further develop an efficient xenotransplantation protocol of patient-derived leukemia cells in immunocompromised NOD/SCID/IL2R-null (NSG) mice.

The Eµ-TCL1 mouse model for CLL
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Transgenic overexpression of TCL1 in B cells results in a CLL-like disease in mice at a median age of 10 months. After transplantation of murine CLL cells in syngenic, immunocompetent animals, engraftment of the leukemic clone is observed and the mice develop disease after 4 to 5 month, which shortens the latency and provides a more homogenous development of disease in the animals.

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