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Inbred Strains of Mice: C57L


Inbr: F 130 +. Grey (colour very similar to DBA). Genet: a, b, ln. Origin: Murray 1933 from a mutation in F22 of a C57BR substrain which is now extinct. Maintained by Cloudman, to Heston 1938, then to Jackson Laboratory 1947 at F45. Differs from C57BR/cd at the H2, Igh1, Pgk2, Qa2 and Qa3 loci. Maint. by J, N.


High alcohol preference (4/18) (Rodgers, 1966). High open-field activity (3/14), high spontaneous bar-pressing activity (3/14) and low tail-rattling during aggressive encounters (12/14) (Southwick and Clark, 1968). Rapid shock-avoidance learning (1/7) (Schlesinger and Wimer, 1967). High open-field activity (3/13) (Bruell, 1964).

Life-span and spontaneous disease

Low incidence of RNA tumour virus group-specific antigen expression (5/5) (Diwan et al., 1973., 1973). Primary lung tumours less than 1%; lymphatic leukaemia less than 1% in males and breeding females, but about 4% in virgin females; mammary adenocarcinomas 3% in breeding females, zero in males and virgin females (Hoag, 1963). 25% incidence of Hodgkin's-like lesions, reticulum cell neoplasm type B at 18 months (Heston, 1963) (55% according to Dunn and Deringer, 1968). Pituitary tumours 33% in old breeding females (Murphy, 1966).

Life-span short in males (3/17 = 473 days), intermediate in females (6/17 = 604 days) in SPF fostered conditions (Festing and Blackmore, 1971). Congenital cystic ovaries frequent (Staats, 1976).

Normal physiology and biochemistry

High systolic blood pressure (3/19) (Schlager and Weibust, 1967). Low serum ceruloplasmin levels in males (21/26) but high in females (6/27) (Meier and MacPike, 1968). Low rectal and hind foot pad temperature (8/9) but high tail temperature (2/9) (Shepard and Habas, 1967).

Low glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase and nicotinamide-adenine dinucleotide phosphate levels in erythrocytes (8/8) (Erickson, 1974). Low sensitivity to thyrotropin (19/21) (Levy et al., 1965., 1965). Low brain glutamic acid decarboxylase (7/10) (Gaitonde and Festing, 1976). High coumarin hydroxylating ability (cf. 4/13) (Lush and Arnold, 1975). Low glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase activity (16/16) (Hutton, 1971). Low kidney arylsulphatase activity (10/12) (Daniel, 1976). Low hepatic delta-aminolaevulinic acid synthetase activity after DDC treatment (14/15) (Gross and Hutton, 1971). Resistant to induction of high hepatic porphyrin levels, in contrast with five other strains (Hutton and Gross, 1970). Low porphyrin content of Harderian gland (15/16) (Margolis, 1971). Susceptible to the development of atherosclerosis on a semi-synthetic high fat diet (2/9) (Nishina et al, 1993).


High percent carcass lipid on a high-fat diet (8/9) (West et al 1992).Low brain weight (23/25) (Roderick et al., 1973., 1973). High total leukocyte count (3/18), high haematocrit (1/18), high mean corpuscular volume (1/18), high haemoglobin (2/18) (Russell et al., 1951., 1951). Adrenal gland has a small X zone (7/8) with a low incidence of vacuolisation (5/6) (Delost and Chirvan-Nia, 1958). About 38% of mice have accessory spleens (1/9) (Hummel et al., 1966., 1966). Low bone density of femur (10/11) (Beamer et al, 1996).


Low susceptibility to transplacental induction of tumours by 1-ethyl-1-nitrosourea (5/5) (Diwan et al., 1973., 1973). Susceptible to skin ulceration by DMBA (cf. 13/22) (Thomas et al., 1973., 1973). Low susceptibility to tumour induction by 3-methylcholanthrene (8/8) (Whitmire and Salerno, 1972). Resistant to the induction of tumours by N-Methyl-N-Nitrosourea (MNU) due to a gene on chromosome 7 (Angel et al, 1993).

Susceptible to teratogenic effects of 1-ethyl-1-nitrosourea (1/5) (Diwan, 1974). Sensitive to Warfarin (4/12) (Lush and Arnold, 1975). Long sleeping time under hexobarbital anaesthetic (14/15) (Lovell, 1976), long sleeping time under pentobarbitone anaesthetic (21/23), Lovell (1986). Resistant to chloroform toxicity (cf. 5/9) (Deringer et al., 1953., 1953). Susceptible to the development of lung fibrosis following a single dose of thoracic irradiation (Franko and Sharplin, 1994). Estrogen induces an increase in VLDL and LDL-cholesterol (like C57BL/6, contrast BALB/c and C3H) (Srivastava, 1995). A diet containing 15% dairy fat, 1% cholesterol and 0.5% cholic acid caused a high incidence of cholesterol gallstones (like SWR, A, contrast SM, AKR, DBA/2) (Faulkner et al, 1995).


Susceptible to experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) (3/18) (Levine and Sowinski, 1973). High susceptibility to EAE (3/10) with high incidence (1/10) of spontaneous relapse (Lindsey,1996). High lymphocyte phytohaemagglutinin response (2/43) (Heiniger et al., 1975., 1975). No immune response to low levels of bovine gamma-globulin (cf. 4/8) (Levine and Vaz, 1970). Poor immune response to GAT (random terpolymer of Glu60, Ala30, Tyr10) (8/10) (Dorf et al., 1974., 1974). HSF from Bordetella pertussis sensitises to histamine (Bergman and Munoz, 1968). Erythrocytes have low agglutinability (cf. 11/25) (Rubinstein et al., 1974., 1974). Susceptible to immunosuppression of contact hypersensitivity by ultraviolet B light (cf 3/18) (Noonan and Hoffman, 1994)


Susceptible to Plasmodium berghei infection (1/8) (Most et al., 1966., 1966). Low susceptibility to BALB/Tennant leukaemia virus (12/12) (Tennant, 1965). Resistant to Mycobacterium marinum (3/9) and poor plateau harvest of M. leprae 8 months after infection (8/9) (Shepard and Habas, 1967). Low expression of RNA tumour virus group-specific antigen (8/8) (Whitmire and Salerno, 1972). Carries no detectable endogenous ecotropic MuLV DNA sequences (Jenkins et al 1982). Encephalomyocarditis virus causes diabetes mellitus (cf. 7/14) (Boucher et al., 1975., 1975). Resistant to development of leukaemia on infection with Friend virus (cf. 2/11) (Dietz and Rick, 1972).


Intermediate breeding performance (15/25), colony output 0.9 young/female/wk, litter size at weaning high at 6.0 (7/25) (Festing, 1976a). Good litter size, mean 5.6 (2/6) (Verley et al., 1967., 1967). Intermediate breeding performance (16/24) (Hansen et al., 1973., 1973).


High degree of genetic distinctiveness (5/27) (Taylor, 1972). Recommended host for transplantable hepatoma BW7756 and pituitary tumour BW8883 (Kaliss, 1972).

Angel J. M., Morizot D. C., and Richie E. R. (1993) Localization of a novel chromosome 7 locus that suppresses development of N-methyl-N-nitrosourea-induced murine thymic lymphomas. Molecular Carcinogenesis 7, 151-156.

Beamer W. G., Donahue L. R., Rosen C. J., and Baylink D. J. (1996) Genetic-variability in adult bone-density among inbred strains of mice. Bone 18, 397-403.

Bergman R. K. and Munoz J. (1968) Action of the histamine sensitizing factor from Bordetella pertussis on inbred and random bred strains of mice. Int. Arch. Allergy 34, 331-338.

Boucher D. W., Hayashi K., Rosenthal J., and Notkins A. L. (1975) Virus-induced diabetes mellitus. III. Influence of sex and strain of host. J. Infect. Dis. 131, 462-466.

Bruell J. H. (1964) Inheritance of behavioural and physiological characters of mice and the problem of heterosis. Am. Zool. 4, 125-138.

Daniel W. L. (1976) Genetics of murine liver and kidney arylsulfatase B. Genetics 82, 477-491.

Delost P. and Chirvan-Nia P. (1958) Differences raciales dans l'involution de la zone x multi surrenalienne chez la souris adulte vierge. C. R. Soc. Biol. 152, 453-455.

Deringer M. K., Dunn T. B., and Heston W. E. (1953) Results of exposure of strain C3H mice to chloroform. Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med. 83, 474-479.

Dietz M. and Rick M. A. (1972) Effect of host strain and H-2 type on spontaneous regression of murine leukemia virus. Int. J. Cancer 10, 99-104.

Diwan B. A., Meier H., and Huebner R. J. (1973) Transplacental effects of 1- ethyl-1-nitrosourea in inbred strains of mice. III. Association between infectious or subinfectious endogenous type-C-RNA tumour virus expression and chemically induced tumorigenesis. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 51, 1965-1970.

Diwan B. A. (1974) Strain-dependent teratogenic effects of 1-ethyl-1- nitrosourea in inbred strains of mice. Cancer Res. 34, 151-157.

Dorf M. E., Dunham E. K., Johnson J. P., and Benacerraf B. (1974) Genetic control of the immune response: the effect of non-H-2 linked genes on antibody production. J. Immunol. 112, 1329-1336.

Erickson R. P. (1974) Erythrocyte nicotinamide - adenine dinucleotide phosphate levels and the genetic regulation of erythrocyte glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase activity in the inbred mouse. Biochem. Genet. 11, 33-40.

Faulkner C. B., Davidson M. K., Davis J. K., Schoeb T. R., Simecka J. W., and Lindsey J. R. (1995) Acute Mycoplasma pulmonis infection associated with coagulopathy in C3H/HeN mice. Lab. Animal Sci. 45, 368-372.

Festing M. F. W. and Blackmore D. K. (1971) Life span of specified-pathogen-free (MRC category 4) mice and rats. Lab. Anim. 5, 179-192.

Franko A. J. and Sharplin J. (1994) Development of fibrosis after lung irradiation in relation to inflammation and lung function in a mouse strain prone to fibrosis. Radiation Res. 140, 347-355.

Gaitonde M. K. and Festing M. F. W. (1976) Brain glutamic acid decarboxylase and open field activity in ten inbred strains of mice. Brain Res. 103, 617-621.

Gross S. and Hutton J. (1971) Induction of hepatic -aminolaevulinic acid synthetase activity in strains of inbred mice. J. Biol. Chem. 246, 606-614.

Hansen C. T., Judge F. J., and Whitney R. A. (1973) Catalog of NIH rodents. National Institutes of Health. DHEW publication (NIH) 74-606, Bethesda.

Heiniger H. J., Taylor B. A., Hards E. J., and Meier H. (1975) Heritability of the phytohaemagglutinin responsiveness of lymphocytes and its relationship to leukemogenesis. Cancer Res. 35, 825-831.

Heston W. E. (1963) Genetics of neoplasia, in Methodology in mammalian genetics (Burdette W. J., ed), pp. 247-268. Holden-Day, San Francisco.

Hoag W. G. (1963) Spontaneous cancer in mice. Ann. NY Acad. Sci. 108, 805-831.

Hummel K. P., Richardson F. L., and Fekete E. (1966) Anatomy, in Biology of the Laboratory Mouse, 2nd. ed. (Green E. L., ed), pp. 247-307. McGraw-Hill, New York.

Hutton J. J. and Gross S. R. (1970) Chemical induction of hepatic porphyria in inbred strains of mice. Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 141, 284-292.

Hutton J. J. (1971) Genetic regulation of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase activity in the inbred mouse. Biochem. Genet. 5, 315-331.

Jenkins N. A., Copeland N. G., Taylor B. A., and Lee B. K. (1982) Organization, distribution, and stability of endogenous ecotropic murine leukemia virus DNA sequences in chromosomes of Mus musculus. J. Virol. 43, 26-36.

Levine B. B. and Vaz N. M. (1970) Effect of combinations of inbred strain, antigen and antigen dose on immune responsiveness and reagin production in the mouse. Int. Arch. Allergy 39, 156-171.

Levine S. and Sowinski R. (1973) Experimental allergic encephelomyelitis in inbred and outbred mice. J. Immunol. 110, 139-143.

Levy R. P., McGuire W. L., Shaw R. K., and Bartsch G. E. (1965) Effect of species differences of mice on the bioassay of thyrotropin. Endocrinol. 76, 890-894.

Lindsey J. W. (1996) Characteristics of initial and reinduced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Immunogenet. 44, 292-297.

Lovell D.P. (1986) Variation in pentobarbitone sleeping time in mice. I. strain and sex differences. Lab. Anim. 20, 85-90.

Lush I. E. and Arnold C. J. (1975) High coumarin 7-hydroxylase activity does not protect mice against Warfarin. Heredity 35, 279-281.

Margolis F. L. (1971) Regulation of porphyrin biosynthesis in the Harderian gland of inbred mouse strains. Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 145, 373-381.

Meier H. and MacPike A. D. (1968) Levels and heritability of serum ceruloplasmin activity in inbred strains of mice. Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med. 128, 1185-1190.

Most H., Nussenzweig R. S., Vanderberg J., Herman R., and Yoeli M. (1966) Susceptibility of genetically standardized (JAX) mouse strains to sporozoite and blood-induced Plasmodium berghei infections. Mil. Med. 131, 915-918.

Murphy E. D. (1966) Characteristic tumors, in Biology of the laboratory mouse, 2nd. ed. (Green E. L., ed), pp. 521-562. McGraw-Hill, New York.

Nishina P. M., Wang J., Toyofuku W., Kuypers F. A., Ishida B. Y., and Paigen B. (1993) Atherosclerosis and plasma and liver lipids in nine inbred strains of mice. Lipids 28, 599-605.

Noonan F. P. and Hoffman H. A. (1994) Susceptibility to immunosuppression by ultraviolet B radiation in the mouse. Immunogenet. 39, 29-39.

Roderick T. H., Wimer R. E., Wimer C. C., and Schwartzkroin P. A. (1973) Genetic and phenotypic variation in weight of brain and spinal cord between inbred strains of mice. Brain Res. 64, 345-353.

Rodgers D. A. (1966) Factors underlying differences in alcohol preference among inbred strains of mice. Psychosomat. Med. 28, 498-513.

Rubinstein P., Liu N., Strenn E. W., and Decary F. (1974) Electrophoretic mobility and agglutinability of red blood cells: a `new' polymorphism in mice. J. Exp. Med. 139, 313-322.

Russell E. S., Neufeld E. F., and Higgins C. T. (1951) Comparison of normal blood picture of young adults from 18 inbred strains of mice. Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med. 78, 761-766.

Schlager G. and Dickie M. M. (1967) Spontaneous mutations and mutation rates in the house mouse. Genetics 57, 319-330.

Schlesinger K. and Wimer R. (1967) Genotype and conditioned avoidance learning in the mouse. J. Comp. Physiol. Psychol. 63, 139-141.

Shepard C. C. and Habas J. A. (1967) Relation of infection to tissue temperature in mice infected with Mycobacterium marinum and Mycobacterium leprae. J. Bacteriol. 93, 790-796.

Southwick C. H. and Clark L. H. (1968) Interstrain differences in aggressive behaviour and exploratory activity of inbred mice. Commun. Behav. Biol. Part A 1, 49-59.

Srivastava R. A. K. (1995) Increased apoB100 mRNA in inbred strains of mice by estrogen is caused by decreased RNA editing protein mRNA. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 212, 381-387.

Staats J. (1976) Standardized nomenclature for inbred strains of mice: Sixth listing. Cancer Res. 36, 4333-4377.

Taylor B. A. (1972) Genetic relationship between inbred strains of mice. J. Hered. 63, 83-86.

Tennant J. R. (1965) Susceptibility and resistance to viral leukemogenesis in the mouse. I. Biological definition of the virus. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 34, 625-632.

Thomas P. E., Hutton J. J., and Taylor B. A. (1973) Genetic relationship between aryl hydrocarbon hydroxylase inducibility and chemical carcinogen induced skin ulceration in mice. Genetics 74, 655-659.

Verley F. A., Grahn D., Leslie W. P., and Hamilton K. F. (1967) Sex ratio of mice as possible indicator of mutation rate for sex-linked lethals. J. Hered. 58, 285-290.

West D. B., Boozer C. N., Moody D. L., and Atkinson R. L. (1992) Dietary obesity in nine inbred mouse strains. Am. J. Physiol. 262, R1025-R1032.

Whitmire C. E. and Salerno R. A. (1972) RNA tumour virus antigen and tumour induction by various doses of 3-methylcholanthrene in various strains of mice treated as weanlings. Cancer Res. 32, 1129-1132.

Updated 9 Apr. 1998
Michael FW Festing
MRC Toxicology Unit, Hodgkin Building,
University of Leicester, UK

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