The Applicability of Mouse Models to the Study of Human Disease

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The laboratory mouse Mus musculus has long been used as a model organism to test hypotheses and treatments related to understanding the mechanisms of disease in humans; however, for these experiments to be relevant, it is important to know the complex ways in which mice are similar to humans and, crucially, the ways in which they differ. In this chapter, an in-depth analysis of these similarities and differences is provided to allow researchers to use mouse models of human disease and primary cells derived from these animal models under the most appropriate and meaningful conditions.Although there are considerable differences between mice and humans, particularly regarding genetics, physiology, and immunology, a more thorough understanding of these differences and their effects on the function of the whole organism will provide deeper insights into relevant disease mechanisms and potential drug targets for further clinical investigation. Using specific examples of mouse models of human lung disease, i.e., asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and pulmonary fibrosis, this chapter explores the most salient features of mouse models of human disease and provides a full assessment of the advantages and limitations of these models, focusing on the relevance of disease induction and their ability to replicate critical features of human disease pathophysiology and response to treatment. The chapter concludes with a discussion on the future of using mice in medical research with regard to ethical and technological considerations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-22
Number of pages20
JournalMethods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.)
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Cell and Molecular Biology

Free keywords

  • Disease
  • Ethics
  • Genetics
  • Immunology
  • Model
  • Mouse
  • Physiology


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