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Inbred Strains of Mice: I


Inbr:(N) F143. Pink-eyed fawn with variable white patches. Genet: a, b, d, p, s, with some substrains carrying ln and/or cch. Origin: Strong 1926 from unpedigreed mice. Carries the b allele at the Phk locus, a sex-linked locus that controls level of activity of the enzyme phosphorylase kinase. This activity is virtually absent in muscle and reduced in the brain,kidney and heart in this strain.


Short latency to attack crickets (1/7) (Butler, 1973). High hole-in-the-wall entries (2/7), high Y-maze exploration (1/7), high number of stairs climbed (1/7), high urination (1/7) and defaecation (2/7) (McClearn et al., 1970., 1970). Low alcohol preference (Rodgers, 1966).

Life-span and spontaneous disease

Spontaneous adenomatous stomach lesion occurs in nearly all mice (Heston, 1963).

Normal physiology and biochemistry

Mammary gland sensitive to oestradiol and progesterone (2/7) (Singh et al., 1970., 1970). Poor growth rate, and no response to fat in diet (4/4) (Fenton and Carr, 1951). Carries Phk, a sex-linked phosphorylase kinase deficiency leading to a 3-4-fold elevation of skeletal muscle glycogen content (Gross et al., 1975., 1975). Acutely sensitive to vitamin B6 depletion. Brief depletion which causes only moderate weight loss in other strains results in hyperactivity and convulsions followed by death. Tissue stores of B6 are not different from normal. Sensitivity not due to malabsorption, rapid excretion or failure to form a cofactor at normal rate (Bell and Haskell, 1971; Bell et al., 1971., 1971). C3HF x I F1 hybrid used as a model of obesity and diabetes. Characterised by moderate obesity at 3-4 months, glycosuria in 50% of males but only 5% of females. Islets of Langerhans enlarged, with increased insulin levels. Abnormalities associated with hyperphagia and may be prevented by food restriction (Bray and York, 1971; Stauffacher et al., 1971., 1971). Pure-line strain I resistant to dietary induction of obesity (Fenton and Dowling, 1953). Thyroid epithelial cells contain crystals in membrane-bounded dense bodies, which may be lysosomes (Neve and Wollman, 1973). Complement undetectable (Staats, 1976).


High leukocyte count (1/18), high red blood cell count (4/18), high haematocrit (4/18) (Russell et al., 1951., 1951). Low percent carcass lipid on a high-fat diet (2/9) (West et al 1992). Corpus callosum absent in a high proportion of mice (Wahlsten and Schalomon, 1994). This is associated with slow growth of the medial septum subadjacent to the cavum septi. See also strains BALB/c and CXBG. (Wahlsten and Bulman-Fleming, 1994).


Resistant to skin ulceration by DMBA (cf. 9/22) (Thomas et al., 1973., 1973). Susceptible to papilloma induction by methylcholanthrene (1/5) (Andervont and Edgcomb, 1956), but resistant to fibrosarcoma induction by methylcholanthrene (15/15 in males, 14/15 in females) (Strong, 1952).


Low lymphocyte phytohaemagglutinin response (34/43) (Heiniger et al., 1975., 1975). Low immune response to ferritin (13/16) (Young et al., 1976., 1976).


Poor reproductive performance, with a high incidence of maternal neglect (Andervont and Edgcomb, 1956). Oocytes display retarded kinetics of meiotic maturation and a high frequency of metaphase I arrest. Some oocytes fail to resume meiosis. Oocytes have many very small centrosomes with an absence of microtubules (Albertini and Eppig, 1995).

Albertini D. F. and Eppig J. J. (1995) Unusual cytoskeletal and chromatin configurations in mouse oocytes that are atypical in meiotic progression. Developmental Genetics 16, 13-19.

Andervont H. B. and Edgcomb J. H. (1956) Responses of seven inbred strains of mice to percutaneous applications of 3-methylcholanthrene. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 17, 481-495.

Bell R. R. and Haskell B. E. (1971) Metabolism of vitamin B6 in the I-strain mouse. I. Absorption, excretion and conversion of vitamin to enzyme co-factor. Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 147, 588-601.

Bray G. A. and York D. A. (1971) Genetically transmitted obesity in rodents. Physiol. Rev. 51, 598-646.

Butler K. (1973) Predatory behaviour in laboratory mice. Strain and sex comparisons. J. Comp. Physiol. Psychol. 85, 243-249.

Fenton P. F. and Carr C. J. (1951) The nutrition of the mouse. XI. Response of four strains to diets differing in fat content. J. Nutrit. 45, 225-233.

Fenton P. F. and Dowling M. T. (1953) Studies on obesity. I. Nutritional obesity in mice. J. Nutrit. 49, 319-331.

Gross S. R., Longshore M. A., and Pangburn S. (1975) The phosphorylase kinase deficiency (Phk) locus in the mouse: evidence that the mutant allele codes for an enzyme with an abnormal structure. Biochem. Genet. 13, 567-584.

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.

McClearn G. E., Wilson J. R., and Meredith W. (1970) The use of isogenic and heterogenic mouse stocks in behavioral research, in Contribution to behavior genetic analysis. The mouse as a prototype (Lindzey G. and Thiessen D. D., eds), pp. 3-32. Appleton-Century-Crofts, New York.

Neve P. and Wollman S. H. (1973) Crystals in dense bodies in the typical thyroid epithelial cell of the I mouse. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 51, 659-665.

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

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.

Singh D. V., DeOme K. B., and Bern H. A. (1970) Strain differences in response of the mouse mammary gland to hormones in vitro. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 45, 657-675.

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

Stauffacher W., Orci L., Cameron D. P., Burr I. M., and Renold A. E. (1971) Spontaneous hyperglycemia and/or obesity in laboratory rodents: an example of the possible usefulness of animal disease models with both genetic and environmental components. Recent Prog. Horm. Res. 27, 41-91.

Strong L. C. (1952) Differences in response among mice of fifteen inbred strains to the subcutaneous injection of methylcholanthrene. Yale J. Biol. Med. 25, 34-43.

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.

Wahlsten D. and BulmanFleming B. (1994) Retarded growth of the medial septum: A major gene effect in acallosal mice. Developmental Brain Research 77, 203-214.

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.

Young C. R., Deacon N. J., Ebringer A., and Davis D. A. L. (1976) Genetic control of the immune response to ferritin in mice. J. Immunogenet. 3, 199-205.

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

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