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Inbred Strains of Mice: NZW


Inbr: F 70. Albino. Genet: b, c, p. Origin: see NZB.


High within-strain aggression. Litter mate males housed together often fight severely by 6-8 weeks (original observation). High balsa-wood gnawing activity (15/16) (Fawdington and Festing 1980). Long life-span in both sexes (17/17 = 802 days in males, 16/17 = 733 days in females) in SPF fostered conditions. Lung tumours 2-24%, lymphatic leukaemia 3-29% and heart defects 2-24% (Festing and Blackmore, 1971). Short sleeping time under hexobarbital anaesthetic (3/15 in males, 1/15 in females) (Lovell, 1976), short sleeping time under pentobarbitone anaesthetic (3/23), Lovell (1986). Phenobarbital i.p. induces hepatic epoxide hydrase (cf. 4/7) (Oesch et al., 1973., 1973). High incidence of exencephaly reported by Vogelwide et al (1993). High retinal ganglion cell number (20/24) (Williams et al, 1996).

Serum antinuclear factor found in 12% of animals (6/17) (Barnes and Tuffrey, 1967). The TCR beta-chain locus of NZW mice carries an 8.8-kb deletion which encompasses the C beta 1, D beta 2, and all six J beta 2 gene segments Studies suggest that D beta 2 and J beta 2 gene segments are required to maintain a diverse T cell repertoire and that their deletion from the genome may confer a significant selective disadvantage in the wild.(Woodland et al 1990). Resistant to immunosuppression of contact hypersensitivity by ultraviolet B light (cf 4/18) (Noonan and Hoffman, 1994). Deficient in eosinophil peroxidase, one of the enzymes in the eosinophil-specific granules, resembling the similar condition in humans (Ohmori et al, 1996).

Intermediate breeding performance (13/25), colony output 1.00 young/female/ week, litter size at weaning low (23/25) at 4.1 (Festing 1976a). Poor breeding performance (19/24) (Hansen et al., 1973., 1973).

Strain widely used as the NZB x NZW F1 hybrid (also known as the B x W hybrid), giving a model of systemic lupus erythematosus (see also NZB). Syndrome includes typical lupus erythematosus cells, antinuclear antibody, haemolytic anaemia, proteinuria with casts and terminal nephrosis with renal failure before 8 months (see Milich and Gershwin 1981). Incidence and severity of the disease is greater in females than males (Dubois et al., 1966., 1966).

NZW x BXSB F1 male mice develop systemic autoimmunity involving autoantibodies, thrombocytopenia, lupus nephritis and coronary vascular disease with myocardial infarction. These effects can be modulated by diet, and may be mediated by anti-cardiolipin autoantibodies (Mizutani et al, 1994), and can be treated effectively by ACE inhibitors such as imidapril and captopril (Ogiku et al, 1994).

Barnes R. D. and Tuffrey M. (1967) Serum antinuclear factor and the influence of environment in mice. Nature 214, 1136-1138.

Dubois E. L., Horowitz R. E., Demopaulos H. B., and Teplitz R. (1966) NZB/NZW mice as a model of systemic lupus erythematosus. J. Am. Med. Assoc. 195, 285-289.

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.

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.

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

Milich D. R. and Gershwin M. E. (1981) The pathogenesis of autoimmunity in New Zealand mice, in Immunologic defects in laboratory animals (Gershwin M. E. and Merchant B., eds), pp. 77-142. Plenum Press, New York, London.

Mizutani H., Engelman R. W., Kinjoh K., Kurata Y., Ikehara S., Matsuzawa Y., and Good R. A. (1994) Calorie restriction prevents the occlusive coronary vascular disease of autoimmune (NZW x BXSB)F1 mice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 91, 4402-4406.

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

Oesch F., Morris N., and Daly J. W. (1973) Genetic expression of the induction of epoxide hydrase and aryl hydrocarbon hydroxylase activities in the mouse by phenobarbital or 3-methylcholanthrene. Molec. Pharmacol. 9, 692-696.

Ogiku N., Sumikawa H., Nishimura T., Narita H., and Ishida R. (1994) Reduction of the mortality rate by imidapril in a small coronary artery disease model, (NZW x BXSB)F1 male mice. Jpn. J. Pharmacol. 64, 129-133.

Ohmori J., Tokunaga H., Ezaki T., Maruyama H., and Nawa Y. (1996) Eosinophil peroxidase deficiency in New Zealand White mice. International Archives of Allergy and Immunology 111, 30-35.

Williams R. W., Strom R. C., Rice D. S., and Goldowitz D. (1996) Genetic and environmental-control of variation in retinal ganglion-cell number in mice. Journal of Neuroscience 16, 7193-7205.

Woodland D. L., Kotzin B. L., and Palmer E. (1990) Functional consequences of a T cell receptor D beta 2 and J beta 2 gene segment deletion. J. Immunol. 144, 379-385.

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

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