Transgenic mice that carry fusions between the transcriptional regulatory sequences of atrial natriuretic factor (a hormone intimately involved in the regulation of blood pressure) and those encoding SV40 T antigen (an oncoprotein) were generated. Although both atria express the fusion gene, the pathological response to T antigen is asymmetrical. The right atrium undergoes a several hundredfold increase in mass while the left atrium remains relatively normal in size. Hyperplasia is accompanied by a progressive increase in both the frequency and severity of abnormalities in the atrial conduction system, which ultimately result in death.
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