International Education and Research Center for Food and Agricultural Immunology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Miyagi, Japan; International Research and Development Center for Mucosal Vaccine, The Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan. Electronic address: [Email]
OBJECTIVE : Organ-level research using an animal model lacking Il2rg, the gene responsible for X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency (X-SCID), is clinically unavailable and would be a powerful tool to gain deeper insights into the symptoms of patients with X-SCID. METHODS : We used an X-SCID animal model, which was first established in our group by the deletion of Il2rg gene in pigs, to understand the clinical signs from multiple perspectives based on pathology, immunology, microbiology, and nutrition. We also treated the X-SCID pigs with bone marrow transplantation (BMT) for mimicking a current therapeutic treatment for patients with X-SCID and investigated the effect at the organ-level. Moreover, the results were confirmed using serum and fecal samples collected from patients with X-SCID RESULTS: We demonstrated that X-SCID pigs completely lacked Peyer's patches (PPs) and IgA production in the small intestine, but possessed some dysfunctional intestinal T and B cells. Another novel discovery was that X-SCID pigs developed a heterogeneous intestinal microflora and possessed abnormal serum metabolites, indicating that X-SCID could be an immune disorder that affects various in vivo functions. Importantly, the organogenesis of PPs in X-SCID pigs was not promoted by BMT. Although a few isolated lymphoid follicles developed in the small intestine of BMT-treated X-SCID pigs, there was no evidence that they contributed to IgA production and microflora formation. Consistently, most patients with X-SCID who received BMT possessed abnormal intestinal immune and microbial environments regardless of the presence of sufficient serum IgG CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that the current BMT therapies for patients with X-SCID may be insufficient to induce the organogenesis of intestinal lymphoid tissues that are associated with numerous functions in vivo.