Lost in transgenesis: A User's guide for genetically manipulating the mouse in cardiac research

Jennifer Davis, Marjorie Maillet, Joseph M. Miano, Jeffery D. Molkentin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


The advent of modern mouse genetics has benefited many fields of diseased-based research over the past 20 years, none perhaps more profoundly than cardiac biology. Indeed, the heart is now arguably one of the easiest tissues to genetically manipulate, given the availability of an ever-growing tool chest of molecular reagents/promoters and "facilitator" mouse lines. It is now possible to modify the expression of essentially any gene or partial gene product in the mouse heart at any time, either gain or loss of function. This review is designed as a handbook for the nonmouse geneticist and/or junior investigator to permit the successful manipulation of any gene or RNA product in the heart, while avoiding artifacts. In the present review, guidelines, pitfalls, and limitations are presented so that rigorous and appropriate examination of cardiac genotype-phenotype relationships can be performed. This review uses examples from the field to illustrate the vast spectrum of experimental and design details that must be considered when using genetically modified mouse models to study cardiac biology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)761-777
Number of pages17
JournalCirculation research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 31 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • genetics
  • mouse heart development
  • transgene
  • transgenic mice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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