Heritable and stable gene knockdown in rats

Christina Tenenhaus Dann, Alma L. Alvarado, Robert E Hammer, David L. Garbers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


The rat has served as an excellent model for studies on animal physiology and as a model for human diseases such as diabetes and alcoholism; however, genetic studies have been limited because of the inability to knock out genes. Our goal was to produce heritable deficiencies in specific gene function in the rat using RNA interference to knock down gene expression in vivo. Lentiviral-mediated transgenesis was used to produce rats expressing a short hairpin RNA targeting Dazl, a gene expressed in germ cells and required for fertility in mice [Ruggiu, M., Speed, R., Taggart, M., McKay, S. J., Kilanowski, F., Saunders, P., Dorin, J. & Cooke, H. J. (1997) Nature 389, 73-77]. Germ-line transmission of the transgene occurred, and its expression correlated with significant reductions in DAZL protein levels and male sterility, and the knockdown was stable over multiple generations (F1-F3). This study demonstrates an efficient system by which directed reverse genetic analysis can now be performed in the rat.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11246-11251
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number30
StatePublished - Jul 25 2006


  • Dazl
  • Fertility
  • RNA interference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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