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J Appl Physiol (1985). 2004 Jul;97(1):369-76. Epub 2004 Mar 26.

Characterization of blood pressure and morphological traits in cardiovascular-related organs in 13 different inbred mouse strains.

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  • 1Experimental Cardiovascular Biology Research Unit, Institut de recherches cliniques de MontrĂ©al, Quebec, Canada H2W 1R7.


To better understand the contributions of various genetic backgrounds to complex quantitative phenotypes, we have measured several quantitative traits of cardiovascular interest [i.e., systolic blood pressure, weight (corrected by body weight) of several cardiac compartments and adrenals and kidneys, and histological correlates for kidneys and adrenals] in male and female mice from 13 different inbred strains. We selected strains so that each major genealogical group would be represented and to conform to priorities set by the Mouse Phenome Database project. Interstrain comparisons of phenotypes made it possible to identify strains that displayed values that belonged to either the low or the high end of the interstrain variance for quantitative traits, such as systolic blood pressure, body weight, left ventricular weight, and/or adrenocortical structure. For instance, both male and female C3H/HeJ and A/J mice displayed either low systolic blood pressure or low cardiac ventricular mass, respectively, and male C57BL6/J displayed low adrenal weight. Likewise, intersex comparisons made it possible to identify phenotypic values that were sexually dimorphic for some of the same traits. For instance, female AKR/J mice had relatively higher body weight and systolic blood pressure values than their male counterparts, perhaps constituting an animal model of the metabolic X syndrome. These strain- and sex-specific features will be of value both for future genetic and/or developmental studies and for the development of new animal models that will help in the generation of mechanistic hypotheses. All data have been deposited to the Mouse Phenome Database for future integration with the Mouse Genome Database and can be further analyzed and compared with tools available on the site.

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