Over the past two decades the techniques associated with the manipulation of the mouse genome have provided a powerful approach toward the better understanding of gene function. Conventional transgenic and gene targeting approaches have been used extensively, and these techniques have been particularly rewarding for neuroscientists. Nevertheless, the traditional approaches toward genome manipulation have certain limitations that diminish their usefulness for studying more sophisticated biological processes. Therefore, variations to these techniques have recently been developed. The improvements are focused on two areas: one provides regulated control of transgene expression using an inducible expression system; and the other provides the opportunity to inactivate genes in specific cells and at predetermined developmental stages with a conditional gene targeting system. This review summarizes the advantages as well as some of the technical difficulties of these new approaches. The application of these advanced approaches in biomedical research, particularly neuroscience, are also discussed.
- Conditional gene targeting
- Genetic manipulation
- Inducible transgene expression
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience