Generation and characterization of an Il2rg knockout Syrian hamster model for XSCID and HAdV-C6 infection in immunocompromised patients

Rong Li, Baoling Ying, Yanan Liu, Jacqueline F. Spencer, Jinxin Miao, Ann E. Tollefson, James D. Brien, Yaohe Wang, William S.M. Wold, Zhongde Wang, Karoly Toth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Model animals are indispensable for the study of human diseases, and in general, of complex biological processes. The Syrian hamster is an important model animal for infectious diseases, behavioral science and metabolic science, for which more experimental tools are becoming available. Here, we describe the generation and characterization of an interleukin-2 receptor subunit gamma (Il2rg) knockout (KO) Syrian hamster strain. In humans, mutations in IL2RG can result in a total failure of T and natural killer (NK) lymphocyte development and nonfunctional B lymphocytes (X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency; XSCID). Therefore, we sought to develop a non-murine model to study XSCID and the infectious diseases associated with IL2RG deficiency. We demonstrated that the Il2rg KO hamsters have a lymphoid compartment that is greatly reduced in size and diversity, and is impaired in function. As a result of the defective adaptive immune response, Il2rg KO hamsters developed a more severe human adenovirus infection and cleared virus less efficiently than immune competent wild-type hamsters. Because of this enhanced virus replication, Il2rg KO hamsters developed more severe adenovirus-induced liver pathology than wild-type hamsters. This novel hamster strain will provide researchers with a new tool to investigate human XSCID and its related infections.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberdmm044602
JournalDMM Disease Models and Mechanisms
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd


  • Adenovirus
  • Animal model
  • Knockout
  • Syrian hamster

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Immunology and Microbiology (miscellaneous)
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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