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Reproduction. 2006 Feb;131(2):207-19.

Deconstructing mammalian reproduction: using knockouts to define fertility pathways.

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Pathology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Reproduction is the sine qua non for the propagation of species and continuation of life. It is a complex biological process that is regulated by multiple factors during the reproductive life of an organism. Over the past decade, the molecular mechanisms regulating reproduction in mammals have been rapidly unraveled by the study of a vast number of mouse gene knockouts with impaired fertility. The use of reverse genetics to generate null mutants in mice through targeted disruption of specific genes has enabled researchers to identify essential regulators of spermatogenesis and oogenesis in vivo and model human disorders affecting reproduction. This review focuses on the merits, utility, and the variations of the knockout technology in studies of reproduction in mammals.

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