Taconic Insights

Biopharmaceutical Trends and R&D

Taconic Biosciences has remained one of the world's leading providers of research models and services for over 65 years through our commitment to anticipating clients’ needs and industry trends. Through our Insights blog, we report on the newest research in the biopharmaceutical industry, provide expert advice regarding the maintenance of murine colonies, as well as comment on R&D and public health news.

Regulatory T Cells in Humanized Immune System Mice

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Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are a critical component of the immune system for regulating inflammatory responses. In the context of immune-mediated diseases, such as cancer or graft-versus-host disease (GvHD), Tregs can either drive or suppress disease pathogenesis. This two-sided role for Tregs and their impact on such a broad spectrum of diseases makes them an important focus of study in immuno-oncology and autoimmunity. Preclinical models of these...  Read More

The Classic Diet-Induced Obese Mouse Model is Still Enabling Breakthroughs in Drug Discovery for Metabolic Diseases

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Obesity causes metabolic dysfunctions that lead to debilitating chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, and cirrhosis. Diet-induced obese (DIO) rodents are popular models for studying obesity and pre-diabetes. In 1953, Fenton and Dowling manipulated nutrient composition across a range of refined rodent diets, demonstrating that inbred weanling mice could be induced to obesity on an accelerated timeline1. Since then, DIO mice have become staples...  Read More

Which Cre Strain Should You Use?

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Unique in its complexity, the central nervous system (CNS) has long represented a challenge for biomedical research, in part because the definition and characterization of constituent cell types remains incomplete. Indeed, one of the major goals behind the 2013 National Institutes of Health (NIH) launch of The Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative was to "identify and provide experimental access to the different brain cell...  Read More

HLA Mice as a Model to Study T Cell Responses Restricted by Human MHC

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Introduction to HLA and MHC An HLA (Human Leukocyte Antigen) or human MHC (Major Histocompatibility Complex) is a group of surface protein complexes that presents antigens to downstream immune cells to activate the adaptive immune system against foreign pathogens or injured cells. These molecules are critical for modulating T cell responses and play a major role in several autoimmune diseases including diabetes, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis. The...  Read More

Raising Heart Health Awareness: American Heart Month

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February marks American Heart Month — a campaign aimed at educating citizens about the importance of cardiovascular health. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) is encouraging visitors to their website to adopt heart-healthy behaviors through increasing exercise, as well as positive diet and lifestyle changes. Why Heart Month? Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among both men and women globally, accounting for about...  Read More

Autoimmunity in Humanized Immune System Mice: A Double-edged Sword

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A hyperactive immune system can be a positive or a negative in the disease setting depending on the desired outcome. Autoimmune diseases such as graft-versus-host disease, lupus, inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, IPEX, and more are caused by the immune system attacking healthy host tissue. These diseases can be modeled preclinically using humanized immune system (HIS) mice, with varying levels of success. Studying Autoimmune Diseases in NOG Mice...  Read More

Webinar Q&A — Applications of Transgenic HLA Mice, From Vaccines to Immuno-oncology

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Dr. Courtney Ferrebee recently presented a webinar titled "Applications of Transgenic HLA Mice, From Vaccines to Immuno-oncology". The webinar presented an overview of Taconic Biosciences' catalog of class I and class II transgenic HLA models, including an introduction to the HLA system and the role it plays in therapeutic applications, as well as the history of how Taconic's models were generated. She then presented various specific case...  Read More

Studying Mast Cell-mediated Allergic Disease Using Humanized Immune System Mice

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Humanized immune system (HIS) mice have a variety of applications for studying diseases in which the immune system drives pathogenesis. This includes immuno-oncology, autoimmunity, and a less discussed but also crucial subset of immunologic disorders, allergy. Indeed, Taconic's CD34+ hematopoietic stem cell (HSC)-engrafted NOG-EXL (huNOG-EXL) is a model that supports the key myeloid cell populations that mediate allergic responses in humans. Humanized NOG-EXL mice support key myeloid...  Read More

Targeting Resistance to Immuno-Oncology Therapies in a Humanized Mouse Model

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Despite extensive global research activities and recent breakthroughs in therapeutics targeting the immune system in cancer patients, the clinical response to treatment can be transient or incomplete. This is due to the ability of cancer cells to adapt to environmental stress, including therapeutic insult, which contributes to tumor evolution and drug resistance. Hence a vast majority of tumor diseases remain difficult to treat and substantial, long-lasting treatment...  Read More

Myeloid Cell-Associated Chemokines in Humanized Immune System Mice

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The interaction between chemokines and their receptors on immune cells is required for immune cells to move throughout the body and into peripheral tissues. Where these human chemokines come from and their levels in humanized immune system (HIS) mice has, until recently, been an unanswered question. HIS mice include NOG, NOG-EXL, and NSG-SGM3 mice that have been engrafted with human CD34+ hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). In a...  Read More

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