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Mol Biol Med. 1989 Dec;6(6):531-47.

Multiple consequences of human growth hormone expression in transgenic mice.

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Institut für Molekulare Tierzucht, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München FRG.


Transgenic mice harbouring growth hormone gene constructs have been produced by DNA microinjection into pronuclei of fertilized oocytes. We examined transgenic mice carrying a mouse metallothionein I-human growth hormone (mMT I-hGH) fusion gene. Here, we present our results concerning gene integration, gene expression, and phenotypical, clinical and pathomorphological alterations found in mice expressing the hGH transgene. Body and organ growth was significantly increased in transgenic mice, whereas fertility was found to be reduced. The life-span was markedly shortened indicating detrimental side-effects of the high levels of circulating hGH. Lesions of kidneys, liver and heart were the predominant pathological findings. Our own results are compared with those obtained by other authors who have investigated mice carrying rat, bovine or ovine growth hormone fusion genes. GH-transgenic mice may serve as a model system to investigate ectopic expression of hormone genes thus circumventing endogenous feedback control mechanisms in complex hormonal cascades.

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