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Open Access Transgenic Rabbit Models for Studying Human Cardiovascular Diseases

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Cardiovascular diseases involve the heart or blood vessels and remain a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in developed countries. A variety of animal models have been used to study cardiovascular diseases and have contributed to our understanding of their pathophysiology and treatment. However, mutations or abnormal expression of specific genes play important roles in the pathophysiology of some heart diseases, for which a closely similar animal model often is not naturally available. With the advent of techniques for specific genomic modification, several transgenic and knockout mouse models have been developed for cardiovascular conditions that result from spontaneous mutations. However, mouse and human heart show marked electrophysiologic differences. In addition, cardiac studies in mouse models are extremely difficult because of their small heart size and fast heart rate. Therefore, larger genetically engineered animal models are needed to overcome the limitations of the mouse models. This review summarizes the transgenic rabbit models that have been developed to study cardiovascular diseases.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Comparative Medicine, College of Medicine, The Pennsylvania State University, Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA.

Publication date: December 1, 2012

More about this publication?
  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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