Medical Definition of Nude mouse

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Nude mouse: A mutant mouse said to be nude because it is hairless due to the presence two copies of the gene "nu" (for nude). Nude mice have no thymus and therefore no T cells, a class of lymphocytes that depend on the thymus to develop. For lack of T cells, nude mice cannot reject tumors or transplants of cells from humans or other animals.

Nude mice have served in the laboratory to gain insights into the immune system, leukemia, solid tumors, AIDS and other forms of immune deficiency. Nude mice were discovered and first bred by Miroslav Holub (1923-1998), a distinguished Czech immunologist and a renowned poet.

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Reviewed on 12/21/2018

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