Knockin Mice and Their Remarkably Crucial Role in Studying and Fighting Disease
Knockin mice are the leading edge when it comes to the research of genetic diseases and genetic sequences that could hold the key to accelerating or stopping some of the most debilitating diseases known to man. Much progress has already been achieved in this respect, even though researchers have only just scratched the surface when it comes to the subtleties of how certain genetic insertions are able to obtain the results they have been linked to. Below, we will examine some of the major recent breakthroughs that have shown just how valuable the use of knockin mouse models can be.
Why Should a Knockin Mouse Be Used for Genetic Study?
There are many good reasons why knockin mice are being used by researchers to unlock the secrets of human DNA. Modern knockin models can be created with ease, and their ability to help researchers study drug development, metabolism and the challenges created by obscure diseases that are extremely difficult to study under normal circumstances have made these mice very popular in the scientific community. New technologies allow scientists to work with much larger genomic insertions than in the past, reducing the likelihood of error and track gene exceptions much more accurately than in the past.
GIST and Knock-in Gene Targeting
Knockin mouse models have proven to be extremely useful in the study of GIST (gastrointestinal stromal tumors). These are tumors that appear in special cells found in the wall of the gastrointestinal tract, and can lead to gastrointestinal pain, discomfort, bleeding and even obstruction in some cases. The tumors can be managed, however its pathology and specific properties were not studied thoroughly, before the use of a new mouse model known as Kit K641E. These knockin mice are able to mimic the effects of GIST, allowing scientists to study the tumor, its inception and its development closely, understand its drug resistance mechanisms and validate or invalidate existing GIST drugs and treatments.
Knockout Models for Studying Huntington’s Disease
It was recently discovered that it is possible to generate accurate genetic replicas of Huntington’s disease using the mouse version of Huntington’s disease gene homologue. Researchers have found that mice with alleles of about 150 units in length exhibited similar symptoms as Huntington’s patients, featuring a far more accurate depiction of the disease than what has been achieved with previous mouse models. The models are already being used in new experiments designed to shed light on the genetic impairments that cause Huntington’s disease in the first place.
Knock-in Mice for Studying Alzheimer’s Disease
One of the diseases that affect the most elders in the US and around the world is Alzheimer’s. Knockin mice have recently been used to make the connection between neurogenesis and the development of Alzheimer’s for the purpose of devising possible cures for the disease. To further study adult neurogenesis and its implication in the regulation of mood and long-term memory, researchers have examined mouse models that featured FAD-causing targeted knockin mutations of proteins such as APP and presenilin-1 (PS-1). With the help of the knockin mice, valuable information was gathered over a period of 18 months, during which the scientists have found long-lasting, selective impairment of the hippocampus, suggesting a unique, newfound means by which neuro-inflammation could contribute to the cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s patients.