Genetically manipulated mouse models of lung disease: potential and pitfalls.
Animals, Genetically Modified
Disease Models, Animal
Gene targeting in mice (transgenic and knockout) has provided investigators with an unparalleled armamentarium in recent decades to dissect the cellular and molecular basis of critical pathophysiological states. Fruitful information has been derived from studies using these genetically engineered mice with significant impact on our understanding, not only of specific biological processes spanning cell proliferation to cell death, but also of critical molecular events involved in the pathogenesis of human disease. This review will focus on the use of gene-targeted mice to study various models of lung disease including airways diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and parenchymal lung diseases including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension, pneumonia, and acute lung injury. We will attempt to review the current technological approaches of generating gene-targeted mice and the enormous dataset derived from these studies, providing a template for lung investigators.