A mouse model for beta-thalassemia. Academic Article uri icon


  • A mutation that produces an absolute deficiency of normal beta-major globin polypeptides has been recovered from a DBA/2J male mouse. Most mice homozygous for the deficiency survived to adulthood and reproduced but were smaller at birth than their littermates and demonstrated a hypochromic, microcytic anemia with severe anisocytosis, poikilocytosis, and reticulocytosis and the presence of inclusion bodies in a high proportion of circulating erythrocytes. Mice heterozygous for the deficiency demonstrated a mild reticulocytosis but were not clinically anemic. Analysis of globin chain synthesis in vitro by 3H-leucine incorporation revealed that beta-globin synthesis was nearly normal (95%) in heterozygotes and about 75% of normal in deficiency homozygotes. Molecular characterization of the mutation by restriction analysis revealed a deletion of about 3.3 kb of DNA, including regulatory sequences and all coding blocks for beta-major globin. Based on genetic and hematological criteria, mice homozygous for the mutant allele, designated Hbbth-1, represent the first animal model of beta-thalassemia (Cooley's anemia), a severe genetic disease of humans.

published proceedings

  • Cell

altmetric score

  • 6

author list (cited authors)

  • Skow, L. C., Burkhart, B. A., Johnson, F. M., Popp, R. A., Popp, D. M., Goldberg, S. Z., ... Lewis, S. E.

citation count

  • 187

complete list of authors

  • Skow, LC||Burkhart, BA||Johnson, FM||Popp, RA||Popp, DM||Goldberg, SZ||Anderson, WF||Barnett, LB||Lewis, SE

publication date

  • October 1983

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