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Eur J Pharmacol. 2015 Jul 15;759:84-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2015.03.046. Epub 2015 Mar 28.

Rodent models for human diseases.

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Université de Strasbourg, Faculté de pharmacie, UMR 7199 CNRS, Laboratoire de Conception et Application de Molécules Bioactives, 74 Route du Rhin, B.P. 60024, 67401 Illkirch Cedex, France. Electronic address:


One of the factors limiting the translation of knowledge from preclinical studies to the clinic has been the limitations of in vivo diseases models. Except in the case of highly controlled and regulated clinical trials, geneticists and scientists do not use humans for their experimental investigations because of the obvious risk to life. Instead, they use various animal, fungal, bacterial, and plant species as model organisms for their studies. Amongst these model organisms, rodent models are the most used due to the easiness for the experiments and the possibility to modify genetically these model animals. Nevertheless, due to the fact that animal models typically do not contract the same genetic diseases as people, so scientists must alter their genomes to induce human disease states and to know what kind of mutation causes the disease. In this brief review, we will discuss the interests of rodent models that have been developed to simulate human pathologies, focusing in models that employ xenografts and genetic modification. Within the framework of genetically engineered mouse (GEM) models, we will review some of the current genetic strategies for modeling diseases.


Animal models; Diseases; Genetically engineered model animals; Rodent; Xenografts model animals

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