Mice with human livers

Gastroenterology. 2013 Dec;145(6):1209-14. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2013.09.009. Epub 2013 Sep 13.


Animal models are used to study many aspects of human disease and to test therapeutic interventions. However, some very important features of human biology cannot be replicated in animals, even in nonhuman primates or transgenic rodents engineered with human genes. Most human microbial pathogens do not infect animals and the metabolism of many xenobiotics is different between human beings and animals. The advent of transgenic immune-deficient mice has made it possible to generate chimeric animals harboring human tissues and cells, including hepatocytes. The liver plays a central role in many human-specific biological processes and mice with humanized livers can be used to model human metabolism, liver injury, gene regulation, drug toxicity, and hepatotropic infections.

Keywords: 2-(2-nitro-4-trifluoro-methylbenzoyl)-1,3-cyclohexanedione; AFC8; Animal Model; CYP; Chimera; FKBP-Caspase 8 gene driven by the albumin promoter; FRG; Fah; Fah/Rag2/interleukin common gamma chain knockout; Hepatocyte; Humanization; Liver; NOD; NTBC; SCID; TK-NOG; albumin thymidine kinase transgenic-NOD-SCID-interleukin common gamma chain knockout; cytochrome; fumarylacetoacetate hydrolase; non-obese diabetic; severe combined immunodeficiency; uPA; uroplasminogen activator.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chimera*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Hepatocytes / metabolism
  • Hepatocytes / pathology
  • Humans
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Liver / pathology*
  • Liver Diseases / metabolism
  • Liver Diseases / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / metabolism


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations