Mind your mouse strain

Many commonly used inbred mouse strains carry random mutations that can affect the results of metabolic studies. Yet, awareness of such mutations as a source for experimental variation and seemingly contradictory results is lacking. It is time that scientists pay more attention to the identification, tracking and accurate reporting of mouse strains used in experiments.

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Fig. 1: Which mice are genetically more distant?

Charles River

Fig. 2: Diagram illustrating the complexity and the likely time of origin of the different C57BL/6 substrains.

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Acknowledgements

I would like to thank J. Fritsche for his inspiring effort to extend the awareness on the genetic variability in experimental mouse strains; and S. Cogliati, D. Sancho and V. Enriquez-Zarralanga for critical reading of the manuscript. My team’s work is supported by MCIU; SAF2015-65633-R; CIBERFES (CB16/10/00282); and the HFSP (RGP0016/2018). The CNIC is supported by MCIU and Pro-CNIC Foundation and is a SO-MINECO (award SEV-2015-0505).

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Correspondence to José Antonio Enríquez.

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Enríquez, J.A. Mind your mouse strain. Nat Metab 1, 5–7 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s42255-018-0018-3

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