Finding Mouse Models of Human Disease for Use in Nutrition Research

Authored by: Edward H. Leiter , Andrew J. Schile

Handbook of Nutrition and Food

Print publication date:  July  2013
Online publication date:  April  2016

Print ISBN: 9781466505711
eBook ISBN: 9781466505728
Adobe ISBN:


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Developments in molecular genetics have made the mouse the premier platform for modeling disease in humans. Although there are points of divergence between mice and humans in the regulation of metabolic, immunologic, behavioral, and reproductive functions, overall, there is remarkable conservation of genomic organization and physiologic processes. 1 Many murine pathology-producing monogenic mutations, either spontaneous or induced, currently exist that reflect their human disease syndromic counterparts. An ambitious international project (Knockout Mouse Project, or KOMP) is now under way to functionally characterize the mouse genome by knocking out the entire repertoire of expressed genes. Indeed, the new technologies for mouse genetic manipulation permit the generation of “humanized” mouse models wherein a known human disease-producing mutation is introduced into the mouse genome either by transgenesis or by replacing the wild-type allele in the mouse with the human mutation by locus-specific homologous recombination. The purpose of this chapter is to acquaint food and nutrition scientists with the various information resources available to assist them in matching their research questions with the large collection of mouse models available.

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