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Open Access Surgical Methods for Full-Thickness Skin Grafts to Induce Alopecia Areata in C3H/HeJ Mice

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Alopecia areata is a cell-mediated autoimmune disease of humans and many domestic and laboratory animal species. C3H/HeJ inbred mice spontaneously develop alopecia areata at a low frequency (approximately 20% by 12 mo of age). Transferring full-thickness skin grafts from affected, older mice to young mice of the same strain reliably reproduces alopecia areata, thus enabling investigators to study disease pathogenesis or intervention with a variety of therapeutic approaches. We here describe in detail how to perform full-thickness skin grafts and the follow-up procedures necessary to consistently generate mice with alopecia areata. These engrafted mice can be used to study the pathogenesis of cell-mediated autoimmune disease and for drug-efficacy trials. This standard protocol can be used for many other purposes when studying abnormal skin phenotypes in laboratory mice.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, Maine, USA 2: The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, Maine, USA.

Publication date: October 1, 2013

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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