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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Transgenic mouse models for gonadal tumorigenesis.

The versatile transgenic (TG) techniques allow the production of in vivo animal models for a variety of diseases, including malignant tumors, through tissue-specific expression of oncogenes. We have created a TG mouse model for gonadal somatic cell tumors by expressing the powerful viral oncogene, Simian virus 40 T-antigen ( Tag) under regulation of the murine inhibin alpha-subunit promoter (inh alpha). Ovarian granulosa and theca cell tumors were formed in the female, and those of testicular Leydig cells, in the male TG mice at the age of 5-6 months, with 100% penetrance. The tumors produced high levels of inhibin peptides, especially the alpha-subunit, and were steroidogenically active, mainly producing progesterone. The gonadal tumorigenesis was gonadotropin-dependent, since TG mice rendered gonadotropin-deficient by crossbreeding them into the hypogonadotropic hpg genetic background, or by treating them with a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonist, did not develop tumors. In order to study the possibility of using the tumor mouse model for testing gene therapy, we created another TG mouse model expressing under the same inhibin-alpha promoter the Herpes Simplex virus (HSV) thymidine kinase ( TK) transgene. The inh alpha/HSV- TK mice were crossbred with the inh alpha/ Tag mice and the double mutant mice also developed gonadal tumors. When they were treated with antiherpes drugs (acyclovir or gancyclovir), further growth of the tumors was blocked. These preliminary findings prove the principle that tumor ablation in our TG mouse model can be achieved by transduction of the HSV- TK gene into the tumor cells. Besides studies of formation, regulation and therapy of the tumors in vivo, immortalized cell lines derived from them provide models for studies of gonadal somatic cell functions in vitro.[1]


  1. Transgenic mouse models for gonadal tumorigenesis. Rahman, N.A., Kananen Rilianawati, K., Paukku, T., Mikola, M., Markkula, M., Hämäläinen, T., Huhtaniemi, I.T. Mol. Cell. Endocrinol. (1998) [Pubmed]
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