Bone marrow chimeras-a vital tool in basic and translational research

Filipa M Ferreira, Pushpalatha Palle, Johannes Vom Berg, Prajwal Prajwal, Jon D Laman, Thorsten Buch*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Bone marrow chimeras are used routinely in immunology research as well as in other fields of biology. Here, we provide a concise state-of-the-art review about the types of chimerisms that can be achieved and the type of information that each model generates. We include separate sections for caveats and future developments. We provide examples from the literature in which different types of chimerism were employed to answer specific questions. While simple bone marrow chimeras allow to dissect the role of genes in distinct cell populations such as the hematopoietic cells versus non-hematopoietic cells, mixed bone marrow chimeras can provide detailed information about hematopoietic cell types and the intrinsic and extrinsic roles of individual genes. The advantages and caveats of bone marrow chimerism for the study of microglia are addressed, as well as alternatives to irradiation that minimize blood-brain-barrier disruption. Elementary principles are introduced and their potential is exemplified through summarizing recent studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)889-896
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Molecular Medicine
Early online date26-Apr-2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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