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Inbred Strains of Mice: DW


Inbr: F110 (J). Grey. Genet: a, ln. Carries dwarf (dw) mutation with forced heterozygosity. dw mutation arose in a stock of silver mice obtained by Snell from an English fancier before 1929. Established by Jackson Laboratory in 1966 from stock supplied by Lane.


The dwarf mutation causes a reduction in acidophils and thyrotrophin-producing cells of the anterior pituitary. Mutant mice have a variety of anatomical, cytological and physiological defects due to deficiency of anterior pituitary hormone, including reduced growth and organ development and infertility. Pituitary homografts or injections of growth hormone and/or prolactin partially reverse some of these defects. Dwarf mice are almost tumour-free, whereas their normal litter mates have a high incidence of a range of tumours. However, dwarf mice also have a shorter life-span. Deficiencies of RNA metabolism in the liver have been noted (Chen et al., 1972a, 1972a). Dwarf DW mice have a lower expression of group-specific antigen to endogenous C-type RNA tumour virus than normal litter mates, which have 45-61% incidence of reticulum cell sarcoma (Chen et al., 1972b, 1972b). A complete bibliography of the strain from 1967 to 1973 has been given by Richardson (1973). The effects of prolactin on activity of 17-beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase has been studied by Musto et al. (1972).

Chen H. W., Hamer D. H., Heiniger H. J., and Meier H. (1972a) Stimulation of hepatic RNA synthesis in dwarf mice by ovine prolactin. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 287, 90-97.

Chen H. W., Meier H., Heiniger H. J., and Huebner R. J. (1972b) Tumorigenesis in strain DW/J mice and induction by prolactin of the group-specific antigen of endogenous C-type RNA tumour virus. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 49, 1145-1154.

Musto N., Hafiez A. A., and Bartke A. (1972) Prolactin increases 17 - hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase activity in the testis. Endocrinol. 91, 1106-1108.

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

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