Genetic mouse models relevant to schizophrenia complement, and have to a large extent supplanted, pharmacological and lesion-based rat models. The main attraction is that they potentially have greater construct validity; however, they share the fundamental limitations of all animal models of psychiatric disorder, and must also be viewed in the context of the uncertain and complex genetic architecture of psychosis. Some of the key issues, including the choice of gene to target, the manner of its manipulation, gene gene and gene environment interactions, and phenotypic characterization, are briefly considered in this commentary, illustrated by the relevant papers reported in this special issue. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Schizophrenia'. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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animal-models environment interactions rodent models knockout mice neuregulin-1 cognition expression disorders cortex disc1