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Alcohol Res Health. 2002;26(3):202-7.

Animal models for the genetic study of human alcohol phenotypes.

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  • 1Oregon Health & Science University, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Portland, Oregon, USA.


Researchers are increasingly using animal models to study the genetic basis of complex human behaviors, such as alcoholism. The most commonly used animal species are rodents, but other species, such as nonhuman primates, fruit flies, and zebrafish, can also provide important information. A variety of approaches are employed in these studies, particularly knockout and transgenic mice as well as specially bred animal lines that can be used for various genetic analyses, including quantitative trait locus mapping. Other strategies applied in genetic studies in animal models include random mutagenesis, virus-mediated gene transfer, and gene expression profiling.

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