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Monday, 01. January 2007 /

Transgenic Animals and Hypertension

Project title:

Transgenic Animals and Hypertension  

Project leader:

Lavinia Stingl, Manfred Völkel, Toni Lindl  

Financial support:    
Project background:

Hypertension is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. As the first and fourth leading causes of death in the United States, respectively, heart disease and stroke occur in approximately 30% of adults. Numbers in European countries are comparable to the ones in the United States, with over 1.9 million deaths in the European Union caused by cardiovascular disease. Hence, investigating hypertension and developing hypertension drugs is a worthwhile and profitable field of research.  

Transgenic and knock-out mouse models for hypertension have existed since 1990. Until 2001, it was believed that the results from animal experiments could be extrapolated relatively quickly to humans, despite species-specific differences. However, according to recent publications it is not always clear whether blood pressure changes in a genetically modified organism (GMO) are a direct consequence of the genetic manipulation. It rather seems that hypertension is influenced by several different genes. Furthermore, mouse physiology of blood pressure is different from that in humans.  

Animalfree Research financially supported the review by Stingl et al., which showed that the intention of the GMO approach in hypertension has not yet provided any potential applications of the results nor has it provided any basis for human diagnostic or therapeutic application. In fact, none of the publications that Stingl et al. examined contained indications of direct application of results gained by using GMO, whether in humans or animals. Considering that this review summarized the results of 20 years of research, this conclusion is rather surprising and quite a knockdown for the research using GMO in the field of hypertension.    




Stingl L., Voelkel M., Lindl T. (2009): 20 years of Hypertension Research Using Genetically Modified Animals: No Clinically Promising Approaches in Sight. ALTEX 26: 41-51.