Transgenic and genetically modified animal models are increasingly being used in the study of disease and for the safety assessment of new compounds. Use of these models enhances understanding of the role that specific genes play in biological pathways. The primary uses of transgenic mouse models in toxicology have mainly been to screen for genotoxicity and carcinogenicity and to understand the mechanisms of toxicity. These mouse models can reliably predict the carcinogenic potential of compounds and significantly reduce the number of false positives. When applied as single assays, however, transgenic models are unable to identify all known human carcinogens. Use of a short-term transgenic mouse assay in combination with a two-year rat chronic study could eliminate the occurrence of false negatives and increase the overall accuracy of detecting carcinogens and non-carcinogens. Additional bonuses for use of transgenic assays include reduced duration, conservative use of animals, and decreased cost relative to a traditional two-year rodent chronic toxicity study.
Source: Life Science Leader