Animal Models In Experimental Medicine

Autoimmune Diseases in Animals

Author(s): Noufa Al Onazi*, Mona Alanazi, Ghfren Aloraini and Aisha Al Anazi

Pp: 55-92 (38)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815196382124010006

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Autoimmune diseases, known as immune-mediated diseases, occur when the immune system targets and attacks its own cells. In the field of medicine, there is a wide range of autoimmune conditions, including insulin-dependent Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus T1DM, Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus T2DM, Rheumatoid Arthritis RA, and Thyroiditis. These diseases can either be primary, with no clearly defined cause, or secondary, triggered by factors such as medications, infections, or malignancies. Animal models have proven invaluable for gaining insights into the underlying pathologies, causes, and specific signaling pathways associated with human autoimmune diseases. This is because these animal models share physiological similarities with humans and have shorter lifespans, allowing researchers to observe the entire disease progression. To replicate the complexity of autoimmune diseases in experimental models, researchers utilize various animal species, including monkeys, rabbits, rats, and mice. These methods can be broadly categorized into three strategies: immunization with autoantigens, transfer of autoimmunity, and induction through environmental factors. Numerous studies have been conducted using animal models to investigate the immunological pathophysiology of RA and assess the effectiveness of anti-rheumatic medications. There are several mouse models designed to mimic RAlike disease, each focusing on specific aspects of the condition. While animal models come with limitations, such as incomplete disease manifestations and limited genetic similarity to humans due to human genetic diversity, they remain an essential tool for understanding the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. Among the various animal models used in research, mice and other rodents like rats and hamsters account for over 90% of the total number of animals employed in these studies.

Keywords: Autoimmune animal model, Mouse models, Non-Obese Diabetic mouse, Nonimmune diabetes, Rheumatoid arthritis, Type-1 Diabetes Mellitus in Mice, Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, Thyroiditis.

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