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Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2002 Mar;127(3):170-80.

Mouse models for the genetic dissection of atopy.

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University Children's Hospital, University of Freiburg, Germany.


Atopic disorders are complex traits with a significant contribution of heritability. Several mouse models for atopic phenotypes such as allergen-induced and intrinsic asthma, atopic dermatitis and immediate cutaneous hypersensitivity have been used to systematically dissect the genetics of these diseases. Many of the chromosomal regions identified in genome-wide screens colocalize with linkage regions of autoimmune phenotypes suggesting common regulatory genes in combination (or addition) to disease-specific genes. Moreover, many of these regions correspond to regions found in the human system, thus strengthening the likelihood of a gene contributing to the phenotype. The role of individual candidate genes has been vigorously pursued in genetically modified mice by destruction or overexpression of the candidate gene. The complex interactions of multiple contributing genes may further be elucidated in randomly mutated mouse strains. Thus mouse models can contribute largely to the elucidation of disease genes.

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