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Transgenic Res. 1996 Jul;5(4):223-34.

Transgenesis in rats: technical aspects and models.

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INSERM U437, Institut de Transplantation et Recherche en Transplantation, Nantes, France.


The production of transgenic rats by DNA-microinjection into fertilized ova has now become an established procedure, although fewer than 20 lines have been described during the last 5 years. Overall, transgenic rats remain more difficult to produce than transgenic mice, but satisfactory yields have been obtained by several laboratories. A review of the methods used to generate transgenic rats shows considerable variation between different laboratories, particularly in choice of strain, superovulation protocols and the use of embryo culture before reimplantation. In some instances, the production of transgenic rats has provided data that are new and relevant, compared to data obtained in mice bearing the same transgene. Models have been developed for human diseases such as hypertension and autoimmunity, and applications have been found in the study of carcinogenesis and in pharmacological research. Transgenic rat technology also opens up interesting perspectives for transplantation research, in which microsurgery is an essential procedure. Intensive research is in progress in several laboratories to produce rat embryonic stem (ES) cell lines, but existing lines have not participated in germ line formation a prerequisite for their use in gene knock out experiments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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