Knockout Rat Models
What Are Knockout Rat Models and Why Are They Needed?
With the use of knockout rat models, genetic researchers are able to gather important information about the rat genome and the roles those genes play, not only in regulating physiological processes throughout the body, but also in inducing or eliminating certain disorders. The genetic origins often attributed to the onset of certain diseases have been a topic of debate among scientists for a long time. Today, with the help of knockout mouse and rat models, researchers can finally follow the onset, progression, and consequences of a variety of diseases, throughout generations of animal models. This is for the purpose of finding cures and treatments that can then be adapted for treatment in humans.
Although the human genome is quite different from the genetic makeup of knockout rat models, many rat genes are present in a similar fashion to those in human DNA. This makes it possible for genetic researchers to gain a greater understanding of human DNA and physiology by studying knockout genes in lab rats. According to numerous studies, rats are actually much closer physiologically to humans than mice. This makes knockout rats an invaluable resource for researchers who want to study human gene function without experimenting on actual human subjects. Some of the best results have been obtained in studies examining the cardiovascular and autoimmune systems, as well as all areas of the body that are affected by diseases like diabetes, arthritis, or addictive disorders.
The most efficient knockout rat models focus on a specific disease or feature a particular gene inactivation. The knockout rat or mouse will live without that gene, while scientists will study the resulting behaviors and disorders as closely as possible. During a specific project, scientists will try out treatments and invent new methods of counteracting any adverse effects – or even go straight to the core of the problem with the application of practical, genetic medicine. The result is that knockout rat models have become some of the most essential and widely used animal models nowadays. Whether studying mutations or how a gene is linked to certain diseases, genetic scientists now possess a powerful tool in knockout rats.
The genetic manipulation of rat DNA has come a long way since the early and mid 2000s, when the only available methods for creating a rat model of human disease were chemical mutagenesis and cloning. Since then, several new methods have been developed, such as zinc-finger nuclease technology, TALENs technology and CRISPR.. It’s possible to create knockout rat models through these means once random knockout mutations are first created, and then later through the use and breeding of rat lines designed to express Cre recombinase at a tissue-specific level.