Individuals with glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency are at risk for the development of hemolytic anemia when given 8-aminoquinolines (8-AQs), an important class of antimalarial/antiinfective therapeutics. However, there is no suitable animal model that can predict the clinical hemolytic potential of drugs. We developed and validated a human (hu)RBC-SCID mouse model by giving nonobese diabetic/SCID mice daily transfusions of huRBCs from G6PD-deficient donors. Treatment of SCID mice engrafted with G6PD-deficient huRBCs with primaquine, an 8-AQ, resulted in a dose-dependent selective loss of huRBCs. To validate the specificity of this model, we tested known nonhemolytic antimalarial drugs: mefloquine, chloroquine, doxycycline, and pyrimethamine. No significant loss of G6PD-deficient huRBCs was observed. Treatment with drugs known to cause hemolytic toxicity (pamaquine, sitamaquine, tafenoquine, and dapsone) resulted in loss of G6PD-deficient huRBCs comparable to primaquine. This mouse model provides an important tool to test drugs for their potential to cause hemolytic toxicity in G6PD-deficient populations.
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