Transgenic animals as new approaches in pharmacological studies

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Transgenic animals are becoming useful tools for pharmacological studies. The use of transgenic technology raises two types of questions, 'How are transgenic animals made?' and 'What types of pharmacological questions can be answered using transgenic technologies?' Answers to these questions are discussed in this review. The production of animals with specific genetic alteration can be achieved by two strategies. The first involves the simple addition of DNA sequences to the chromosomes. The second strategy is to select particular genetic loci for site-specific changes. There are two well-established procedures for simple introduction of DNA into an animal genome, pronuclear DNA injection and transduction using a retrovirus. In contrast, methods for targeting specific DNA sequences to definite sites in the chromosomes are evolving rapidly. Some of these procedures can be used in combination to make a different variety of gene alterations in animals. Pharmacological studies where transgenic technology has been extensively used are discussed, including studies in the cardiovascular system, the nervous system, the endocrine system, cancer, and toxicology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-141
Number of pages23
JournalAnnual review of pharmacology and toxicology
StatePublished - 1997


  • ES technology
  • animal models
  • gene-targeting
  • pronuclear injection


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