Hereditary tyrosinaemia type I, a severe autosomal recessive metabolic disease, affects the liver and kidneys and is caused by deficiency of fumarylacetoacetate hydrolase (FAH). Mice homozygous for a FAH gene disruption have a neonatal lethal phenotype caused by liver dysfunction and do not represent an adequate model of the human disease. Here we demonstrate that treatment of affected animals with 2–(2–nitro–4–trifluoro–methylbenzyol)–1,3–cyclohexanedione abolished neonatal lethality, corrected liver function and partially normalized the altered expression pattern of hepatic mRNAs. The prolonged lifespan of affected animals resulted in a phenotype analogous to human tyrosinaemia type I including hepatocellular carcinoma. The adult FAH−/− mouse will serve as useful model for studies of the pathophysiology and treatment of hereditary tyrosinaemia type I as well as hepatic cancer.
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