Of mice and men - and guinea pigs?

Ann Anat. 2021 Nov:238:151765. doi: 10.1016/j.aanat.2021.151765. Epub 2021 May 14.


This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the publication of the first draft of the human genome and its broad availability to the scientific community. In parallel, the annotation of the mouse genome led to the identification and analysis of countless genes by means of genetic manipulation. Today, when comparing both genomes, it might surprise that some genes are still seeking their respective homologs in either species. In this review, we aim at raising awareness for the remarkable differences between the researcher's favorite rodents, i.e., mice and rats, when it comes to the generation of rodent research models regarding genes with a particular delicate localization, namely the pseudoautosomal region on both sex chromosomes. Many of these genes are of utmost clinical relevance in humans and still miss a rodent disease model giving their absence in mice and rats or low sequence similarity compared to humans. The abundance of rodents within mammals prompted us to investigate different branches of rodents leading us to the re-discovery of the guinea pig as a mammalian research model for a distinct group of genes.

Keywords: Gametolog; Genome; Guinea pig; NLGN4; Pseudoautosomal region.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Guinea Pigs*
  • Mammals
  • Models, Animal*
  • Rats