CXCR4 Conditional Knockout Mouse
Why Is the Development of CXCR4 Conditional Knockout Mice So Important?
CXCR4 conditional knockout mice have become extremely popular due to the many practical uses that understanding the Cxcr4 receptor can bring. Chemokines – and most especially the chemokine CXCL12 and its receptor CXCR4– are viewed as some of the most crucial pieces of genetic materials to study for discovering the secrets of prenatal life. CXCR4 conditional knockout mice could possibly uncover the mysteries revolving around the many roles that CXCR4 plays in the early development of the heart, the nervous system and the arteries, as well as many other aspects of human embryonic growth and physiological development.
Why Choose the CXCR4 Receptor?
Despite the fact that researchers observed how the chemokine CXCL12 is the one that seems more important, with its absence leading to poor arterial development and the impaired signaling of anastomosis of peritruncal endothelial cells, many believe that the CXCR4 receptors play an equally significant role. When studied closely, CXCR4 knockout mice have displayed a propensity of dying in the uterus, primarily due to poor cardiac, cerebellar and ventricular development. Moreover, the expression of the CXCR4 gene also seems to greatly affect the development of the bones, lungs and nervous system.
Developing a CXCR4 Knockout Mouse
Most typically, researchers use CXCR4 conditional knockout mice developed through the use of the Cre/loxP system in order to study the chemokine CXCL12 and its counterpart, CXCR4. The goal is to create homozygote CXCR4‐CKO mice with the use of specific types of transgenic mice. The CXCR4 gene is knocked out in the Tie2-positive cells, although the same procedure can also be used together with gene silencing techniques. To confirm the silencing or complete inactivation of the CXCR4 gene, researchers will usually examine the Tie2-positive blood cells of the mice through the use of FACS (fluorescence-activated cell sorting) methods.
Chemokines and Stereotypy in CXCR4 Knockout Mice
One of the most significant areas on which the development of CXCR4 conditional knockout mice can shed some light is the effect that the CXCR4 gene may have on the development of the mouse and human nervous system. Chemokines play a vital role in regulating the central nervous system and helping to mediate neuroinflammation. As a result, many scientists aim to examine whether the sudden reduction of CXCL12 chemokines in patients with schizophrenia can have an effect on the onset and progression of the disease in humans. Testing performed with the aid of conditional knockout mice confirms that the mice with the inactivated CXCR4 gene experienced a heightened level of stereotypy, which is consistent with that of psychiatric patients who suffer from schizophrenia and similar conditions.
The Future of Conditional Knockouts and CXCR4
The research conducted by Dr. Yoichio Iwakura and Dr. B. Choi has shown that the presence of the CXCR4 gene is not only important in helping to develop the nervous system and bone structure at an early age, but also to maintain them. Fractures seem to heal much faster when the gene is present, as opposed to the case of CXCR4 knockout mice. It is expected that similar bodies of research will uncover more secrets about the gene and its remarkably extensive functions, and even bring practical solutions developed because of the use of CXCR4 conditional knockout mice developed and examined with the help of increasingly more advanced tools and resources.