TRANSGENICS IN ENDOCRINOLOGY

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Author : MARTIN M. MATZUK & CHESTER W. BROWN

Published in : Humana Press

ISBN No.  : 0-89603-764-9

File Type : pdf

File Size : 4 mb

Language : English

Description

The latter part of the 20th century has seen an amazing change in how we view and synthesize endocrinology. Prior to the 1980s, we understood endocrine disorders and the field of endocrinology through patients with genetic mutations, protein purification, physiological experiments in humans and whole animals, tissue culture cells, and radio immuno assays. Little did we know that the field of endocrinology (and all of genetics) would move by leaps and bounds because of a simple mammalian model—a mouse that grew twice as fast as its fellow littermates. As students at the time, we were fascinated by these mice, glorified by their appearance on the 1982 and 1983 covers of Nature and Science. These transgenic mice, created by Drs. Ralph Brinster and Richard Palmiter and colleagues, were the first endocrine models created by genetic manipulation—mice carrying a mouse metallothionein I promoter driving the expression of either rat growth hormone (1982) or human growth hormone (1983). The expression of the foreign growth hormone genes (transgenes) resulted in “gigantic mice” because of the growth hormone excess. Clearly, for our field and all of biology, the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” rang true on those autumn days in 1982 and 1983 and generated a movement that revolutionized our thinking. Little did we realize that a second revolution was already evolving that would take hold of the field in the decade to follow.
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