The wide utility of rabbits as models of human diseases

Pedro Esteves 1, 2, 3, * Joana Abrantes 1 Hanna-Mari Baldauf 4 Lbachir Benmohamed 5, 6, 7 Yuxing Chen 8 Neil Christensen 9 Javier González-Gallego 10 Lorenzo Giacani 11 Jiafen Hu 9 Gilla Kaplan 12 Oliver Keppler 4 Katherine Knight 13 Xiang-Peng Kong 14 Dennis Lanning 13 Jacques Le Pendu 15 Ana Lemos de Matos 16 Jia Liu 17 Shuying Liu 8 Ana Lopes 1, 18 Shan Lu 8 Sheila Lukehart 11 Yukari Manabe 19 Fabiana Neves 1 Grant Mcfadden 16 Ruimin Pan 14 Xuwen Peng 9 Patricia de Sousa-Pereira 1, 20, 4 Ana Pinheiro 1, 13 Masmudur Rahman 16 Natalie Ruvoën-Clouet 15 Selvakumar Subbian 21 Maria Tuñón 10 Wessel van der Loo 1 Michael Vaine 8 Laura Via 22, 23 Shixia Wang 8 Rose Mage 24
* Corresponding author
15 CRCINA - Département INCIT - Equipe 5 - Host-pathogen interactions in the regulation of immune responses
CRCINA - Centre de recherche de Cancérologie et d'Immunologie / Nantes - Angers
Abstract : Studies using the European rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus contributed to elucidating numerous fundamental aspects of antibody structure and diversification mechanisms and continue to be valuable for the development and testing of therapeutic humanized polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies. Additionally, during the last two decades, the use of the European rabbit as an animal model has been increasingly extended to many human diseases. This review documents the continuing wide utility of the rabbit as a reliable disease model for development of therapeutics and vaccines and studies of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying many human diseases. Examples include syphilis, tuberculosis, HIV-AIDS, acute hepatic failure and diseases caused by noroviruses, ocular herpes, and papillomaviruses. The use of rabbits for vaccine development studies, which began with Louis Pasteur's rabies vaccine in 1881, continues today with targets that include the potentially blinding HSV-1 virus infection and HIV-AIDS. Additionally, two highly fatal viral diseases, rabbit hemorrhagic disease and myxomatosis, affect the European rabbit and provide unique models to understand co-evolution between a vertebrate host and viral pathogens.
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Pedro Esteves, Joana Abrantes, Hanna-Mari Baldauf, Lbachir Benmohamed, Yuxing Chen, et al.. The wide utility of rabbits as models of human diseases. Experimental & Molecular Medicine, Nature Publishing Group, 2018, 50 (5), pp.66. ⟨10.1038/s12276-018-0094-1⟩. ⟨inserm-01804663⟩

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