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Inbred Strains of Mice: SJL


Inbr: F104 (J). Albino. Genet: c, p, rd. Origin: Swiss Webster outbred stock from three sources that were brought to The Jackson Laboratory between 1938 and 1943, and pen-bred until 1955, when sib-mating was started. Although the strain has been developed relatively recently, it has rapidly become widely used owing to the high incidence of reticulum cell sarcomas resembling Hodgkin's disease. General biological data on the strain have been reviewed by Crispens (1973). Carries the pink-eyed dilution gene, p, which is derived from Asian mice of the Mus musculus type (see also strains 129/J, P/J and FS/Ei) (Brilliant et al, 1994)


High spontaneous fighting (Page and Glenner, 1972). Severe fighting among males housed together, beginning at about 8 weeks. Most males will be killed by 4-5 months unless caged separately (Crispens, 1973).

Life-span and spontaneous disease

Short life-span in conventional conditions (8/22 = 472 days in males, 3/22 = 395 days in females). High gross tumour incidence (4/22 females, 6/22 males) (Storer, 1966). Reticulum cell sarcomas appear in about 90% of animals at an average age of about 13 months (Murphy, 1963; Crispens, 1973; Fujinaga et al., 1970., 1970). These first appear in the Peyer's patches and mesenteric lymph nodes and later in the spleen, liver, thymus and other lymph nodes (Crispens, 1973). Most of the tumours are pleomorphic or mixed-cell types commonly called type-B reticulum cell neoplasms by Dunn, but a few are type-A histiocytomas. The unusual feature of the SJL reticulum cell tumours is their regular and early appearance, with the preneoplastic lesion detectable as early as 22 days (Potter, 1972). Tumour development as well as autoimmunity may result from an effective amplification of the immune response (Owens and Bonavida, 1976). Leukaemia 83% (Myers et al., 1970., 1970). High incidence of spontaneous amyloidosis, possibly associated with fighting (Page and Glenner, 1972). Develops gamma-l and gamma-2 paraproteinaemia (Wanebo et al., 1966., 1966). Hyperplastic neuroretinopathy and disorders of pigment epithelial cells with a high incidence of subretinal tumor is present at 9 days (Caffe et al 1993).

Normal physiology and biochemistry

Low plasma cholesterol at 24 weeks (7/8 males, 8/8 females) (Weibust, 1973). High metabolic rate (2/18) (Storer, 1967). Low serum ceruloplasmin levels in females (23/27) but intermediate in males (Meier and MacPike, 1968). High systolic blood pressure (5/19) (Schlager and Weibust, 1967). Low plasma cholinesterase activity in males (20/22) (Angel et al., 1967., 1967). High mean heart rate (1/7), but low mean heart rate adaptation (7/7) (Blizard and Welty, 1971). High brain sphingosine (1/5) and low brain sterol (5/5) (Sampugna et al., 1975., 1975). Low hepatic delta-aminolaevulinic acid synthetase activity after DDC treatment (13/15) (Gross and Hutton, 1971). Venous blood has a low pH (9/10) (Dagg, 1966). Resistant to the development of atherosclerosis on a semi-synthetic high fat diet (cf 5/9) (Nishina et al, 1993). High intrinsic myogenicity of muscle cells both in-vivo and in-vitro (Maley et al, 1994, Mitchell et al, 1995)).


Low brain weight (17/18 in males, 16/18 in females) (Storer, 1967). Low brain weight (22/25), small spinal cord (24/25) (Roderick et al., 1973., 1973). Cerebellum has no intraculminate fissure between vermian lobule IV and vermian lobule V (the ventral and dorsal lobules of the culmen) (contrast DBA/2) (Cooper et al 1991). Low percent carcass lipid on a high-fat diet (3/9) (West et al 1992). Low retinal ganglion cell number (6/24) (Williams et al, 1996). High bone density of femur (4/11) (Beamer et al, 1996).


Resistant to skin ulceration by DMBA (cf. 9/22) (Thomas et al., 1973., 1973). Resistant to induction of subcutaneous tumours by 3-methylcholanthrene (11/14) (Kouri et al., 1973., 1973), (9/12) (Whitmire et al., 1971., 1971). Resistant to X-irradiation (3/27) (Roderick, 1963). Poor ovulatory response to 3 I.U. (5/6) and 7 I.U. (5/6) of PMS, but response facilitated by exposure to males at latter dose rate only (Zarrow et al., 1971., 1971). Resistant to hyperbaric oxygen (14/18) (Hill et al., 1968., 1968) Short survival in 90% oxygen (2/10) (Lieberman and Kellog, 1967). Resistant to X-irradiation as judged by the LD50 (Yuhas and Storer, 1969). Susceptible to induction of splenic amyloidosis by injection of casein (1/7) (Clerici, 1972). Susceptible to induction of lymphoid and myeloid leukaemia by DMBA (Crispens, 1973). Resistant to biliary tract injury following oral dosing with 500 micrograms of the fungal toxin sporidesmin (4/4) (Bhathal et al 1990). Airways hyporeactive to acetylcholine (c.f. 3/7) (Zhang et al, 1995). Susceptible (cf 5/8) to ozone-induced decreases of tracheal potential (Takahashi et al, 1995). Low voluntary comsumption of morphine in two-bottle choice situation (12/15) (Belknap et al, 1993). Susceptible to weight loss induced by cocaine, but this is attenuated by anisomycin (cf C3H, CBA) (Shimosato et al, 1994).


Susceptible to induction of experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) (1/18) (Levine and Sowinski, 1973). High susceptibility to induction of EAE (1/10) but moderate mortality (Lindsey, 1996). Low lymphocyte phytohaemagglutinin response (29/43) (Heiniger et al., 1975., 1975). Poor immune response to small doses of bovine gamma-globulin (cf. 4/8) (Levine and Vaz, 1970). Poor immune response to DNP-keyhole-limpet haemocyanin (11/11) (Borel and Kilham, 1974). No immune response to GAT (random terpolymer of Glu60, Ala30, Tyr10) (10/10) (Dorf et al., 1974., 1974). Discriminator between `H' and `L' sheep erythrocytes (cf. 12/18) (McCarthy and Dutton, 1975). Very sensitive to anaphylactic shock (Treadwell, 1969). Resistant to induction of immunological tolerance (1/14) (Fujiwara and Cinader, 1974). Poor immune response to (Pro66, Gly34)n (7/7) (Fuchs et al., 1974., 1974). High (3/12) susceptibility to IgE- and IgG1-mediated passive cutaneous anaphylaxis (De Souza et al., 1974., 1974). Erythrocytes have a high agglutinability (cf. 14/25) (Rubinstein et al., 1974., 1974). Low response to Dextran (cf. 6/10) (Blomberg et al., 1972., 1972). Immune response to type-III pneumococcal polysaccharide declines by 42 weeks, in contrast to BALB/c and C3H (Smith, 1976). Susceptible to induction of experimental autoimmune thyroiditis (cf. 2/5) (Vladutiu and Rose, 1971a). Thymocytes exhibit a periodicity (5-9 days)in their response to hormonal stimulation with isoproterenol. This is expressed in large changes in the intensity of the response (peak levels of intracellular cAMP which vary approximately 6-fold), and in the response pattern, i.e., in the occurrence or non-occurrence of an immediate hormone-induced desensitization. In contrast, C57BL/6 thymocytes have a homogeneous response pattern (Riven-Kreitman et al 1990). Resistant to immunosuppression of contact hypersensitivity by ultraviolet B light (cf 4/18) (Noonan and Hoffman, 1994). Low natural killer cell response to the immunostimulent 7-allyl-8-oxoguanosine (6/6) (Pope et al, 1994). Has defective T cell receptor-induced interleukin-4 production and absence of T-cells with the NK1.1 antigen. However, natural-killer-like T-cells develop nromally in spite of these defects (Beutner et al, 1997). Mast cells grow faster in culture and have more than twice the amount of histamine and TNF-alpha in their granules than BALB/c (Bebo et al, 1996). High level of serum complement C5 (Lynch and Kay, 1995).


Encephalomyocarditis virus causes diabetes mellitus (cf. 7/14) (Boucher et al., 1975., 1975). High susceptibility to develop leukaemia on infection with Friend virus (cf. 5/11) (Dietz and Rich, 1972). Resistant to measles virus (1/6) (Rager-Zisman et al., 1976., 1976). Develop flaccid paralysis and survivors develop a distinct neurological disorder associated with marked mononuclear cell infiltration and active demyelination in spinal cord after intracerebral inoculation with Theiler's encephalomyelitis virus. Incubation period may be 2-3 months (Lipton and Dal Canto, 1976). Resistant to street rabies virus (SRV) injected via the intraperitoneal route (Perry and Lodmell 1991). Develops herpes simplex encephalitis (HSE) resembling the human condition, following intranasal infection with a neurovirulent clinical isolate of herpes simplex virus type 1 (contrast 9 other strains) (Hudson et al 1991). Resistant to carditis on infection with Lyme borreliosis (Borrelia burgdorferi) (contrast C3H, SWR, BALB/c) (Barthold et al 1990). High eosinophilia on infection with the helminth Mesocestoides corti (1/12) and highly susceptible to infection with the parasite. Larval burdens at 21 days after infection with 100 tetrathyridia being considerably higher (greater than 1000) than all other strains except NIH, which was comparable. (Lammas et al 1990). Susceptibile to infection by Helicobacter felis with moderate to severe chronic active gastritis in the body of the stomach, which increased over time (cf 4/6) (Sakagami et al, 1996).

Angel C. R., Mahin D. T., Farris R. D., and Woodward K. T. (1967) Heritability of plasma cholinesterase activity in inbred mouse strains. Science 156, 529-530.

Barthold S. W., Beck D. S., Hansen G. M., Terwilliger G. A., and Moody K. D. (1990) Lyme borreliosis in selected strains and ages of laboratory mice. J. Infect. Dis. 162, 133-138.

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.

Bebo B. F., Lee C. H., Orr E. L., and Linthicum D. S. (1996) Mast cell-derived histamine and tumor-necrosis-factor - differences between SJL/J and BALB/c inbred strains of mice. Immunology and Cell Biology 74, 225-230.

Belknap J. K., Crabbe J. C., Riggan J., and O'Toole L. A. (1993) Voluntary consumption of morphine in 15 inbred mouse strains. Psychopharmacology 112, 352-358.

Beutner U., Launois P., Ohteki T., Louis J. A., and MacDonald H. R. (1997) Natural killer-like T cells develop in SJL mice despite genetically distinct defects in NK1.1 expression and in inducible interleukin-4 production. Eur. J. Immunol. 27, 928-934.

Bhathal P. S., Jordan T. W., and Mackay I. R. (1990) Mouse strain differences in susceptibility to sporidesmin-induced biliary tract injury. Liver 10, 193-204.

Blizard D. A. and Welty R. (1971) Cardiac activity in the mouse: strain differences. J. Comp. Physiol. Psychol. 77, 337-344.

Blomberg B., Geckeler W. R., and Weigert M. (1972) Genetics of the antibody response to Dextran in mice. Science 177, 178-180.

Borel Y. and Kilham L. (1974) Carrier-determined tolerance in various strains of mice: the role of isogenic IgG in the induction of hapten specific tolerance. Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med. 145, 470-474.

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.

Brilliant M. H., Ching A., Nakatsu Y., and Eicher E. M. (1994) The original pink-eyed dilution mutation (p) arose in asiatic mice: Implications for the H4 minor histocompatibility antigen, Myod1 regulation and the origin of inbred strains. Genetics 138, 203-211.

Caffe A. R., Szel A., Juliusson B., Hawkins R., and vanVeen T. (1993) Hyperplastic neuroretinopathy and disorder of pigment epithelial cells precede accelerated retinal degeneration in the SJL/N mouse. Cell & Tissue Research 271, 297-307.

Clerici E. (1972) Induction of amyloidosis in mice upon treatment with polypeptidylcaseins and DNP-casein. Relation to antigenicity. Acta Pathol. Microbiol. Scand. Suppl., 233, 167-171.

Cooper P. A., Benno R. H., Hahn M. E., and Hewitt J. K. (1991) Genetic analysis of cerebellar foliation patterns in mice (Mus musculus). Behav. Genet. 21, 405-419.

Crispens C. G. (1973) Some characteristics of strain SJL/JDg mice. Lab. Animal Sci. 23, 408-413.

Dagg C. P. (1966) Teratogenesis, in Biology of the laboratory mouse, 2nd. ed. (Green E. L., ed), pp. 309-328. McGraw-Hill, New York.

De Souza C. M., Maia L. C. S., and Vaz N. M. (1974) Susceptibility to cutaneous anaphylaxis in inbred strains of mice. J. Immunol. 112, 1369-1372.

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.

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.

Fuchs S., Mozes E., Maoz A., and Sela M. (1974) Thymus independence of a collagen-like synthetic polypeptide and of collagen, and the need for thymus and bone marrow-cell cooperation in the immune response to gelatin. J. Exp. Med. 139, 148-158.

Fujinaga S., Poel W. E., Williams W. C., and Dmochowski L. (1970) Biological and morphological studies of SJL/J strain reticulum cell neoplasms induced and transmitted serially in low leukemia-strain mice. Cancer Res. 30, 729-742.

Fujiwara M. and Cinader B. (1974) Cellular aspects of tolerance. IV. Strain variations of tolerance inducibility. Cell. Immunol. 12, 11-29.

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

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.

Hill G. B., Osterhout S., and O'Fallon W. M. (1968) Variation in response to hyperbaric oxygen among inbred strains of mice. Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med. 129, 687-689.

Hudson S. J., Dix R. D., and Streilein J. W. (1991) Induction of encephalitis in SJL mice by intranasal infection with herpes simplex virus type 1: a possible model of herpes simplex encephalitis in humans. J. Infect. Dis. 163, 720-727.

Kouri R. E., Salerno R. A., and Whitmire C. E. (1973) Relationships between arylhydrocarbon hydroxylase inducibility and sensitivity to chemically induced subcutaneous sarcomas in various strains of mice. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 50, 363-368.

Lammas D. A., Mitchell L. A., and Wakelin D. (1990) Genetic influences upon eosinophilia and resistance in mice infected with Mesocestoides corti. Parasitology 101, 291-299.

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.

Lieberman J. and Kellog F. (1967) Hyaline-membrane formation and pulmonary plasminogen-activator activity in various strains of mice. Pediatrics 39, 75-81.

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

Lipton H. L. and Dal Canto M. C. (1976) Chronic neurologic disease in Theiler's virus infection of SJL/J mice. J. Neurol. Sci. 30, 201-207.

Lynch D. M. and Kay P. H. (1995) Studies on the polymorphism of the fifth component of complement in laboratory mice. Exp. Clin. Immunogenet. 12, 253-260.

Maley M. A. L., Fan Y., Beilharz M. W., and Grounds M. D. (1994) Intrinsic differences in MyoD and myogenin expression between primary cultures of SJL/J and BALB/C skeletal muscle. Exp. Cell Research 211, 99-107.

McCarthy M. M. and Dutton R. W. (1975) The humoral response of mouse spleen cells to two types of sheep erythrocytes. J. Immunol. 115, 1316-1321.

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.

Mitchell C. A., Grounds M. D., and Papadimitriou J. M. (1995) The genotype of bone marrow-derived inflammatory cells does not account for differences in skeletal muscle regeneration between SJL/J and BALB/c mice. Cell & Tissue Research 280, 407-413.

Murphy E. D. (1963) SJL/J, a new inbred strain of mouse with a high, early incidence of reticulum-cell neoplasms. Proc. Am. Assoc. Cancer Res. 4, 46.

Myers D. D., Meier H., and Huebner R. J. (1970) Prevalence of murine C-type RNA virus group specific antigen in inbred strains of mice. Life Sci. 9, 1071-1080.

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.

Owens H. M. and Bonavida B. (1976) Immune functions characteristic of SJL/J mice and their association with age and spontaneous reticulum cell sarcoma. Cancer Res. 36, 1077-1083.

Page D. L. and Glenner G. G. (1972) Social interaction and wounding in the genesis of spontaneous murine amyloidosis. Am. J. Pathol. 67, 555-570.

Perry L. L. and Lodmell D. L. (1991) Role of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in murine resistance to street rabies virus. J. Virol. 65, 3429-3434.

Pope B. L., Chourmouzis E., MacIntyre J. P., Lee S., and Goodman M. G. (1994) Murine strain variation in the natural killer cell and proliferative responses to the immunostimulatory compound 7-Allyl-8-oxoguanosine: Role of cytokines. Cell. Immunol. 159, 194-210.

Potter M. (1972) Immunoglobulin-producing tumors and myeloma proteins of mice. Physiol. Rev. 52, 631-719.

Rager-Zisman B., Ju G., and Udem S. (1976) Resistance and susceptibility of mice to infection with measles virus. Fed. Proc. 35, 391.

Riven-Kreitman R., Tauber-Finkelstein M., Zipori D., and Shaltiel S. (1990) A periodicity in the response of SJL/J thymocytes to isoproterenol. Simulation by cell lines. Molecular & Cellular Endocrinology 73, 211-216.

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.

Roderick T. H. (1963) The response of twenty-seven inbred strains of mice to daily doses of whole-body X-irradiation. Radiation Res. 20, 631-639.

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.

Sakagami T., Dixon M., ORourke J., Howlett R., Alderuccio F., Vella J., Shimoyama T., and Lee A. (1996) Atrophic gastric changes in both Helicobacter felis and Helicobacter pylori infected mice are host dependent and separate from antral gastritis. Gut 39, 639-648.

Sampugna J., Clements J., Carter T. P., and Campagnoni A. T. (1975) Comparison of lipids in total brain tissue from five mouse genotypes. J. Neurobiol. 6, 259-266.

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

Shimosato K., Saito T., and Marley R. J. (1994) Genotype-specific blockade of cocaine-induced weight loss by the protein synthesis inhibitor, anisomycin. Life Sciences 55, PL293-PL299.

Smith A. M. (1976) The effects of age on the immune response to type III pneumococcal polysaccharide (SIII) and bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in BALB/c, SJL/J and C3H mice. J. Immunol. 116, 469-474.

Storer J. B. (1966) Longevity and gross pathology at death in 22 inbred strains of mice. J. Gerontol. 21, 404-409.

Storer J. B. (1967) Relation of lifespan to brain weight, body weight and metabolic rate among inbred mouse strains. Exp. Gerontol. 2, 173-182.

Takahashi M., Kleeberger S. R., and Croxton T. L. (1995) Genetic control of susceptibility to ozone-induced changes in mouse tracheal electrophysiology. American Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology 269, L6-L10.

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.

Treadwell P. E. (1969) The inheritance of susceptibility to anaphylaxis in inbred mice and their hybrid progenies. J. Reticuloendothel. Soc. 6, 343-353.

Wanebo H. J., Gallmier W. M., Boyse E. A., and Old L. J. (1966) Paraproteinemia and reticulum cell sarcoma in an inbred mouse strain. Science 154, 901-903.

Weibust R. S. (1973) Inheritance of plasma cholesterol levels in mice. Genetics 73, 303-312.

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., Salerno R. A., Rabstein L. S., Heubner R. J., and Turner H. C. (1971) RNA tumour-virus antigen expression in chemically induced tumours. Virus-genome specified common antigens detected by complement fixation in mouse tumours induced by 3-methylcholanthrene. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 47, 1255-1265.

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.

Yuhas J. M. and Storer J. B. (1969) On mouse strain differences in radiation resistance: hematopoietic death and the endogenous colony-forming unit. Radiation Res. 39, 608-622.

Zarrow M. X., Christenson C. M., and Eleftheriou B. C. (1971) Strain differences in the ovulatory response of immature mice to PMS and to the pheromonal facilitation of PMS-induced ovulation. Biol. Reprod. 4, 52-56.

Zhang L. Y., Levitt R. C., and Kleeberger S. R. (1995) Differential susceptibility to ozone-induced airways hyperreactivity in inbred strains of mice. Experimental Lung Research 21, 503-518.

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

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