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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 5258727, 14 pages
Review Article

Animal Models of Cystic Fibrosis Pathology: Phenotypic Parallels and Divergences

Respiratory Research Division, Department of Medicine, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin 9, Ireland

Received 18 February 2016; Accepted 8 May 2016

Academic Editor: Oreste Gualillo

Copyright © 2016 Gillian M. Lavelle et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cystic fibrosis (CF) is caused by mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene. The resultant characteristic ion transport defect results in decreased mucociliary clearance, bacterial colonisation, and chronic neutrophil-dominated inflammation. Much knowledge surrounding the pathophysiology of the disease has been gained through the generation of animal models, despite inherent limitations in each. The failure of certain mouse models to recapitulate the phenotypic manifestations of human disease has initiated the generation of larger animals in which to study CF, including the pig and the ferret. This review will summarise the basic phenotypes of three animal models and describe the contributions of such animal studies to our current understanding of CF.