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Large Mammalian Animal Models of Heart Disease

Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA
Research Institute of Heart Failure, Shanghai East Hospital of Tongji University, Shanghai 200120, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2016, 3(4), 30;
Received: 17 August 2016 / Accepted: 27 September 2016 / Published: 5 October 2016
Due to the biological complexity of the cardiovascular system, the animal model is an urgent pre-clinical need to advance our knowledge of cardiovascular disease and to explore new drugs to repair the damaged heart. Ideally, a model system should be inexpensive, easily manipulated, reproducible, a biological representative of human disease, and ethically sound. Although a larger animal model is more expensive and difficult to manipulate, its genetic, structural, functional, and even disease similarities to humans make it an ideal model to first consider. This review presents the commonly-used large animals—dog, sheep, pig, and non-human primates—while the less-used other large animals—cows, horses—are excluded. The review attempts to introduce unique points for each species regarding its biological property, degrees of susceptibility to develop certain types of heart diseases, and methodology of induced conditions. For example, dogs barely develop myocardial infarction, while dilated cardiomyopathy is developed quite often. Based on the similarities of each species to the human, the model selection may first consider non-human primates—pig, sheep, then dog—but it also depends on other factors, for example, purposes, funding, ethics, and policy. We hope this review can serve as a basic outline of large animal models for cardiovascular researchers and clinicians. View Full-Text
Keywords: dog; sheep; pig; non-human primates; heart disease model dog; sheep; pig; non-human primates; heart disease model
MDPI and ACS Style

Camacho, P.; Fan, H.; Liu, Z.; He, J.-Q. Large Mammalian Animal Models of Heart Disease. J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2016, 3, 30.

AMA Style

Camacho P, Fan H, Liu Z, He J-Q. Large Mammalian Animal Models of Heart Disease. Journal of Cardiovascular Development and Disease. 2016; 3(4):30.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Camacho, Paula, Huimin Fan, Zhongmin Liu, and Jia-Qiang He. 2016. "Large Mammalian Animal Models of Heart Disease" Journal of Cardiovascular Development and Disease 3, no. 4: 30.

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