The objective of this programme is to facilitate the use of homologous recombination in the rat. The long-term aim is achieve a better understanding of the role of specific genes in normal and abnormal blood pressure regulation.
The rat is the species of choice for many areas of biomedical research, including hypertension and neurobiology, however existing techniques of germline modification in this species are limited. Although it is technically possible to produce transgenic rats by DNA microinjection, the ability to introduce precise genetic alterations is severely limited by the lack of suitable embryonic stem cells. To date all attempts to isolate such cell lines have not resulted in successful germline transmission. Further efforts and new approaches are therefore required to obtain suitable cell lines. Our aim is to develop a generic method of ES cell derivation through a selection-based approach in order to extend stem cell technology into this species. If the selection methodology is successful this would eventually permit germline manipulation of existing phenotypically selected models of hypertension such as the Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat (SHR), and would enable the future developments to other rat strains of interest to biomedical researchers studying of human disease.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts