Human T-lymphotropic virus type-1 (HTLV-1), the first human retrovirus discovered, is the causative agent of adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL) and a number of lymphocyte-mediated inflammatory conditions including HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis. Development of animal models to study the pathogenesis of HTLV-1-associated diseases has been problematic. Mechanisms of early infection and cell-to-cell transmission can be studied in rabbits and nonhuman primates, but lesion development and reagents are limited in these species. The mouse provides a cost-effective, highly reproducible model in which to study factors related to lymphoma development and the preclinical efficacy of potential therapies against ATL. The ability to manipulate transgenic mice has provided important insight into viral genes responsible for lymphocyte transformation. Expansion of various strains of immunodeficient mice has accelerated the testing of drugs and targeted therapy against ATL. This review compares various mouse models to illustrate recent advances in the understanding of HTLV-1-associated ATL development and how improvements in these models are critical to the future development of targeted therapies against this aggressive T-cell lymphoma.
- Animal models
ASJC Scopus subject areas