The Transgenic Animals Facility is active within  CNR since 1999 and focuses on the generation of genetically modified mice (transgenic, knockout, knockin).The facility applies all the relevant standard transgenic technologies but  also focuses on the latest methods to introduce genetic modifications in vivo:  Zinc Finger nucleases (ZFN), Transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs), Clustered regulatory interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR/Cas-based RNA-guided DNA endonucleases). The service is offered oa collaborative and/or contributive basis also providing  support and advice on projects and strategies involving the use and/or the generation of animal models.

the services of the facility include:

  • purification of transgenic DNA constructs;
  • creation of transgenic mouse models by pronuclear microinjection of the DNA constructs in the embryos at the zygote stage and realization of knockout (KO) or knockin (KI) models by injection of mutagenized embryonic stem cells into blastocysts;
  • microsurgery (vasectomies, uterine embryo transfer);
  • collection, fixation and staining of murine embryos at various stages of development;
  • isolation and culture of embryonic stem cells (ES) and primary fibroblasts from embryos;
  • genotyping of mutant mice by PCR;
  • management of mutant mice colonies (breeding, weaning, backcrossing, rederivation);
  • cryopreservation of sperm and two-cells embryos, in vitro fertilization;
  • collection of tissues and blood for biochemical, histological, and serological analysis;
  • hormone treatments, pharmacological, and gene therapy on mice.

Teaching activity:

The Service organized a theoretical/practical course within the CNR Training Programs : Corso ‘Metodologie di riderivazione di linee murine and participates as teaching staff to lectures and practice on genetically modified animals in the annual course: ‘Science of Laboratory Animals’ (Recognition FELASA, Federation of European Laboratory Animal Science Associations) Cat B (No: 023 / 09).