Effective methods for cell ablation are important tools for examining the anatomical, functional and behavioral consequences of selective loss of specific cell types in animal models. We have developed an ablation system based on creating genetically modified animals that express human CD59 (hCD59), a membrane receptor, and administering intermedilysin (ILY), a toxin produced by Streptococcus intermedius, which binds specifically to hCD59 to induce cell lysis. As proof-of-concept in the rat, we generated an anemia model, SD-Tg(CD59-HBA1)Bryd, which expresses hCD59 on erythrocytes. Hemolysis is a common complication of inherited or acquired blood disorders, which can result in cardiovascular compromise and death. A rat model which can replicate hemolysis through specific ablation of erythrocytes would allow further study of disease and novel treatments. In vitro, complete lysis of erythrocytes expressing hCD59 was observed at and above 250 pM ILY while no lysis was observed in wild type erythrocytes at any ILY concentration (8-1000 pM). In vivo, ILY intravenous injection (100 ng/g body weight) dramatically reduced the hematocrit within 10 minutes, with a mean hematocrit reduction of 43% compared to 1.4% in the saline control group. Rats injected with ILY at 500 ng/g intraperitoneally developed gross signs of anemia. Histopathology confirmed anemia and revealed hepatic necrosis, with microthrombi present. These studies validate the hCD59-ILY cell ablation technology in the rat and provide the scientific community with a new rapid conditional targeted ablation model for hemolytic anemia and hemolysis-associated sequelae.
- Animal model
- hemolytic anemia
- red cell disorders
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