An update on the tools for creating transgenic animal models of human diseases - focus on atherosclerosis

Braz J Med Biol Res. 2019;52(5):e8108. doi: 10.1590/1414-431X20198108. Epub 2019 Apr 25.


Animal models of diseases are invaluable tools of modern medicine. More than forty years have passed since the first successful experiments and the spectrum of available models, as well as the list of methods for creating them, have expanded dramatically. The major step forward in creating specific disease models was the development of gene editing techniques, which allowed for targeted modification of the animal's genome. In this review, we discuss the available tools for creating transgenic animal models, such as transgenesis methods, recombinases, and nucleases, including zinc finger nuclease (ZFN), transcription activator-like effector nuclease (TALEN), and CRISPR/Cas9 systems. We then focus specifically on the models of atherosclerosis, especially mouse models that greatly contributed to improving our understanding of the disease pathogenesis and we outline their characteristics and limitations.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified*
  • Atherosclerosis / genetics
  • Atherosclerosis / physiopathology*
  • Biomedical Research / methods
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Female
  • Gene Transfer Techniques
  • Genetic Engineering / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Transcription Activator-Like Effector Nucleases / metabolism*


  • Transcription Activator-Like Effector Nucleases