A major goal of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxiology at the Institute of Pharmacy (Chair: Prof. Dr. Peter Ruth) is the establishment of mouse models for human diseases with high prevalence in the elderly population. This is accomplished by genetic ablation of specific genes putatively involved in the pathophysiology of diseases prior to analyzing the phenotype of the respective mutant mouse strains. Several techniques are deployed to study the control of vital functions in the whole mouse organism as well as in individual organs. Also cellular methods are available to evaluate gene function at the molecular level.
The mouse models serve as a reverse pharmacological approach to identify new targets for drug therapy in humans and allow for the specifity testing of drugs acting on the targeted protein. The available mouse models comprise disorders such as hearing loss, ataxia, hypertension, hyperaldosteronism and obesity, while additional models are in preparation.