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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2005 Jan;312(1):35-43. Epub 2004 Aug 24.

Transgenic mice with a hypomorphic NADPH-cytochrome P450 reductase gene: effects on development, reproduction, and microsomal cytochrome P450.

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  • 1Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12201-0509, USA.


A mouse model with a hypomorphic NADPH-cytochrome P450 reductase (Cpr) gene (designated Cpr(low) allele) was generated and characterized in this study. The Cpr gene in these mice was disrupted by the insertion of a neo gene in intron 15, which led to 74 to 95% decreases in CPR expression in all tissues examined, including olfactory mucosa, adrenal gland, brain, testis, ovary, lung, kidney, liver, and heart. In the liver, a pattern of pericentral distribution of CPR protein was preserved in the Cpr(low/low) mice, despite an overall reduction in CPR expression. Genotype distribution in F2 pups indicated limited embryonic lethality associated with the Cpr(low) allele, a finding that confirms the role of CPR-dependent enzymes in development. Adult male homozygotes had decreased body weight and decreased heart, lung, and kidney weights, whereas homozygous Cpr(low) females, which had increased serum testosterone and progesterone and decreased copulatory activities, were infertile. Furthermore, adult Cpr(low/low) mice had decreased plasma cholesterol, and some mice developed mild centrilobular hepatic lipidosis. In addition, despite apparently compensatory increases in total microsomal cytochrome P450 content in the liver and kidney, the decreases in CPR expression were accompanied by reductions in systemic clearance of pentobarbital, as well as in hepatic microsomal metabolism of acetaminophen and testosterone. These phenotypes illustrate the potential impact of a globally decreased CPR activity in human adults, and this novel knock-in mouse model provides a unique opportunity for further explorations of the in vivo roles of CPR and CPR-dependent enzymes.

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