The hypogonadal mouse: reproductive functions restored by gene therapy

Science. 1986 Dec 12;234(4782):1372-8. doi: 10.1126/science.3097822.


The hypogonadal (hpg) mouse lacks a complete gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) gene and consequently cannot reproduce. Introduction of an intact GnRH gene into the genome of these mutant mice resulted in complete reversal of the hypogonadal phenotype. Transgenic hpg/hpg homozygotes of both sexes were capable of mating and producing offspring. Pituitary and serum concentrations of luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and prolactin were restored to those of normal animals. Immunocytochemistry and in situ hybridization showed that GnRH expression was restored in the appropriate hypothalamic neurons of the transgenic hpg animals, an indication of neural-specific expression of the introduced gene.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / blood
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genetic Engineering*
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone / genetics
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Hypogonadism / genetics*
  • Hypothalamus / analysis
  • Hypothalamus / cytology
  • Infertility / genetics
  • Infertility / therapy*
  • Luteinizing Hormone / blood
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mutation
  • Neurons / analysis
  • Phenotype
  • Prolactin / blood
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • Prolactin
  • Luteinizing Hormone
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone