Efficient targeting of the IL-4 gene in a BALB/c embryonic stem cell line

Transgenic Res. 1996 Nov;5(6):487-91. doi: 10.1007/BF01980214.


Embryonic stem (ES) cell lines have been derived from the inner cell mass of day 3.5 blastocysts of the inbred mouse strain BALB/cJ. Twenty-three lines were karyotyped and three were selected for injection into C57BL/6J host blastocysts. Two of the three lines, BALB/c-I and BALB/c-IV, produced germ-line chimaeras. The suitability of the BALB/c-I line for gene targeting experiments was tested by transfecting a targeting construct for the interleukin-4 (IL-4) gene. Transfected BALB/c-I cells exhibited efficient homologous recombination of the targeting vector and transmitted the induced mutation through the germline. This newly-characterized BALB/c-ES cell line thus provides an alternative to the traditional 129-derived and the recently described C57BL/6 embryonic stem cell lines, and will be useful in disrupting genes involved in the immune system. Furthermore, the genetically pure BALB/c IL-4 deficient mice will aid in studying the role of IL-4 in several infectious disease models in which the BALB/c mouse is a susceptible strain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacology
  • CD3 Complex / immunology
  • Cell Line
  • Embryo, Mammalian / cytology*
  • Female
  • Heterozygote
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / drug effects
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism
  • Interleukin-4 / deficiency
  • Interleukin-4 / genetics*
  • Interleukin-4 / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Stem Cells / immunology*
  • Transfection


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • CD3 Complex
  • Interleukin-4
  • Interferon-gamma