Animal Models for Alopecia Areata: What and Where

UMMS Affiliation

Program in Molecular Medicine; Diabetes Center of Excellence

Publication Date


Document Type



Animal Diseases | Dermatology | Investigative Techniques | Laboratory and Basic Science Research | Skin and Connective Tissue Diseases


Disease is not limited to humans. Rather, humans are but another mammal in a continuum, and as such, often share similar if not identical diseases with other mammalian species. Alopecia areata (AA) is such a disease. Natural disease occurs in humans, nonhuman primates, many domestic animals, and laboratory rodents. However, to be useful as models of human disease, affected animals need to be readily available to the research community, closely resemble the human disease, be easy to work with, and provide reproducible data. To date, the laboratory mouse (most if not all of the C3H substrains) and the Dundee experimental bald rat fit these criteria. Manipulations using full-thickness skin grafts or specific immune cell transfers have improved the models. New mouse models that carry a variety of genetic-based immunodeficiencies can now be used to recapitulate the human immune system and allow for human full-thickness skin grafts onto mice to investigate human-specific mechanistic and therapeutic questions. These models are summarized here including where they can currently be obtained from public access repositories.

DOI of Published Version



J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc. 2015 Nov;17(2):23-6. doi: 10.1038/jidsymp.2015.35. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The journal of investigative dermatology. Symposium proceedings / the Society for Investigative Dermatology, Inc. [and] European Society for Dermatological Research

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID