Fludarabine as a cost-effective adjuvant to enhance engraftment of human normal and malignant hematopoiesis in immunodeficient mice

Sci Rep. 2018 Jun 14;8(1):9125. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-27425-x.


There is still an unmet need for xenotransplantation models that efficiently recapitulate normal and malignant human hematopoiesis. Indeed, there are a number of strategies to generate humanized mice and specific protocols, including techniques to optimize the cytokine environment of recipient mice and drug alternatives or complementary to the standard conditioning regimens, that can be significantly modulated. Unfortunately, the high costs related to the use of sophisticated mouse models may limit the application of these models to studies that require an extensive experimental design. Here, using an affordable and convenient method, we demonstrate that the administration of fludarabine (FludaraTM) promotes the extensive and rapid engraftment of human normal hematopoiesis in immunodeficient mice. Quantification of human CD45+ cells in bone marrow revealed approximately a 102-fold increase in mice conditioned with irradiation plus fludarabine. Engrafted cells in the bone marrow included hematopoietic stem cells, as well as myeloid and lymphoid cells. Moreover, this model proved to be sufficient for robust reconstitution of malignant myeloid hematopoiesis, permitting primary acute myeloid leukemia cells to engraft as early as 8 weeks after the transplant. Overall, these results present a novel and affordable model for engraftment of human normal and malignant hematopoiesis in immunodeficient mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Graft Survival / drug effects*
  • Hematopoiesis / drug effects*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, SCID
  • Neoplasm Transplantation*
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / pathology
  • Transplantation Conditioning*
  • Vidarabine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Vidarabine / pharmacology


  • Vidarabine
  • fludarabine