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Athymic nude rat

Immunodeficient rat for immunology and oncology research

Model characteristics


Mutant rat

Strain name:



Developed in JANVIER Labs in 2018

Colour and related genotype :

Homozygotes for the rnu gene, naked skin


In vivo
In vitro

Description of our model and application areas

The rnu mutation was discovered in 1953 in a HOODED rat colony at the Rowett Research Institute in Aberdeen, Scotland. This natural genetic mutation causes in the rat an absence of the thymus. In the rare cases where vestiges of thymus remain visible, it is generally not functional. This character is accompanied by a deficient immune system due to insufficient production of T lymphocytes cells. The last characteristic controlled by the rnu gene is abnormal growth of hair which ultimately results in bare or almost naked skin (sometimes retarded hair grow can be observed). The phenotype of the model ATHYMIC nude is characterized by an absence of hair, which earned him the “nude” nickname. The gene responsible for the mutation has been categorized as a member of the Fox gene family and the nomenclature recommends the name Foxn1rnu/rnuFoxn1rnu/rnu) on a LOU-FISCHER mixed genetic background using the speed congenics technique, until obtain a 75 % FISCHER background (F344/HanZtmRj). Subsequently the strain obtained is raised as inbred, while taking into account the transmission characteristic of the rnu gene.

The ATHYMIC Nude rat is valuable for research because it can serve as a recipient for different autologous and heterologous tumour cell strain implantations, for example in oncology research.

Females with the homozygous gene are not effective breeders.

Main application and research fields

Immunology Oncology Physiology - Physiopathology Preclinical Transgenesis

Comparative of immunodeficiency and phenotype in Nude mutants

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