Cardiovascular and renal phenotyping of genetically modified mice: A challenge for traditional physiology

Sharyn M. Fitzgerald, Liming Gan, Anna Wickman, Göran Bergström

Research output: Contribution to journalShort SurveyResearchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


1. The advent of techniques to genetically modify experimental animals and produce directed mutations in both a conditional and tissue-specific manner has dramatically opened up new fields for physiologists in cardiovascular and renal research. 2. A consequence of altering the genetic background of mice is the difficulty in predicting the phenotypic outcome of the genetic mutation. We therefore suggest that physiologists may need to change their current experimental paradigms to face this new era. Hence, our aim is to propose a complementary research philosophy for physiologists working in the post-genomic era. That is, instead of using strictly hypothesis-driven research philosophies, one will have to perform screening studies of mutant mice, within a field of interest, to find valuable phenotypes. Once a relevant phenotype is found, in-depth studies of the underlying mechanisms should be performed. These follow-up studies should be performed using a traditional hypothesis-driven research philosophy. 3. The rapidly increasing availability of mutated mouse models of human disease also necessitates the development of techniques to characterize these various mouse phenotypes. In particular, the miniaturization and refinement of techniques currently used to study the renal and cardiovascular system in larger animals will be discussed in the present review. Hence, we aim to outline what techniques are currently available and should be present in a laboratory to screen and study renal and cardiovascular phenotypes in genetically modified mice, with particular emphasis on methodologies used in the intact, conscious animal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-216
Number of pages10
JournalClinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2003


  • Cardiovascular system
  • Renal function
  • Resting metabolic rate
  • Transgenic mice
  • Vascular reactivity

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