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Transgenic Mouse Model

Last Updated on March 31, 2023 by ingenious

What are transgenic models?

Transgenic models are genetically modified organisms that have foreign DNA sequences inserted into their genomes. Creating a useful transgenic model requires carefully choosing the DNA sequence to use, then employing one of the multiple strategies for inserting it into the genome. Transgenic models can be highly effective when studying the development of various diseases and the possible actions that can be taken to cure them. However it’s important to look at both the advantages and the drawbacks of using a transgenic mouse model as part of a research project.

Transgenic Mouse Model

Why Are Transgenic Models Used?

Transgenic animal models are created either to serve as a model system to understand a basic biological process or a disease. Often the goal when making a new transgenic model is to mimic a human disease in the context of the animal model. Transgenic mice are indispensable when it comes to evaluating disease characteristics and treatments. Many animal species can be used to create transgenic models, including fruit flies and zebrafish, but the biology of non-mammals is often significantly different from human biology. Mice are a balanced choice because they share many aspects of human biology and can be genetically modified easily. A disease or condition that affects humans can be modeled by a carefully created transgenic mouse model.

Using Transgenic Mouse Models

What are some of the considerations of using transgenic mice?

Transgenic mouse models are extremely useful for scientific and medical research but they’re not without limitations. Mice and humans share many aspects of their biology right down to the genetic sequences in their DNA. However any study that uses transgenic animal models must take into account the biological differences as well. For example the organs and immune system of a mouse are significantly different from what’s found in humans which can lead to different outcomes. In addition every researcher considering a new transgenic mouse model must evaluate whether the same results can be obtained without the use of a large number of animals.

Free Mouse Model Generation Guide: Step-by-step process for creating new custom models

Specific Mouse Model Applications: Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s is a disorder that can be modeled and studied with the help of a transgenic mouse model. Although there are currently no mouse models that fully mimic the disease the existing mouse models allow us to study specific aspects of the disease. One important disease characteristic is beta-amyloid – considered the “toxic” protein in Alzheimer’s – which can prove useful in uncovering the most likely causes of Alzheimer’s complications. Transgenic mouse models have been created that express various forms of the human genes related to Alzheimer’s Disease. This results in the mice developing some of the same symptoms as human patients such as memory impairment. The use of transgenic mouse models may one day lead to treatments for this and other conditions that affect a large number of people.

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