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Reprod Domest Anim. 2005 Aug;40(4):269-81.

Use of transgenic animals to improve human health and animal production.

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  • Biologie du Développement et Reproduction, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Jouy-en-Josas Cedex, France. louis.houdebine@jouy.inra.fr


Contents Transgenic animals are more widely used for various purposes. Applications of animal transgenesis may be divided into three major categories: (i) to obtain information on gene function and regulation as well as on human diseases, (ii) to obtain high value products (recombinant pharmaceutical proteins and xeno-organs for humans) to be used for human therapy, and (iii) to improve animal products for human consumption. All these applications are directly or not related to human health. Animal transgenesis started in 1980. Important improvement of the methods has been made and are still being achieved to reduce cost as well as killing of animals and to improve the relevance of the models. This includes gene transfer and design of reliable vectors for transgene expression. This review describes the state of the art of animal transgenesis from a technical point of view. It also reports some of the applications in the medical field based on the use of transgenic animal models. The advance in the generation of pigs to be used as the source of organs for patients and in the preparation of pharmaceutical proteins from milk and other possible biological fluids from transgenic animals is described. The projects in course aiming at improving animal production by transgenesis are also depicted. Some the specific biosafety and bioethical problems raised by the different applications of transgenesis, including consumption of transgenic animal products are discussed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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