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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2011 Jun;68(11):1911-5. doi: 10.1007/s00018-011-0669-7. Epub 2011 Mar 25.

Gene-manipulated embryonic stem cells for rat transgenesis.

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Division of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, National Cancer Center Research Institute, Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan.


Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are derived from blastocysts and are capable of differentiating into whole tissues and organs. Transplantation of ESCs into recipient blastocysts leads to the generation of germline-competent chimeras in mice. Transgenic, knockin, and knockout gene manipulations are available in mouse ESCs, enabling the production of genetically modified animals. Rats have important advantages over mice as an experimental system for physiological and pharmacological investigations. However, in contrast to mouse ESCs, rat ESCs were not established until 2008 because of the difficulty of maintaining pluripotency. Although the use of signaling inhibitors has allowed the generation of rat ESCs, the production of genetically modified rats has been difficult due to problems in rat ESCs after gene introduction. In this review, we will focus on some well-documented examples of gene manipulation in rat ESCs.

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