“What we know and don't know about our favorite mouse model” | Vootele Voikar | January 15, 2021
From Rafael Frias
Laboratory mouse is the most widely used model animal, accounting for more than 60% of total number of animals used for scientific purposes. Despite the fact that more than 400 inbred mouse strains exist, one has clearly emerged as a “gold standard” strain for biomedical research. In 1990’s, the C57BL/6 strain was selected as a suitable background strain for backcrossing the early knockout models. The privileged position of C57BL/6 mouse was strengthened after sequencing its genome as a reference in 2002, followed by establishing the embryonic stem cells for creating the genetically altered mice in this background. However, focusing on one strain only on the one hand, and neglecting the variation between the sub-strains of the C57BL/6 mice on the other hand, can seriously undermine the validity and reproducibility of basic research. The aim of this presentation is to increase awareness about important details related to genetic background and origin of test subjects.
Dr. Vootele Voikar, Ph.D., Neuroscience Center and Laboratory Animal Center, HiLIFE, University of Helsinki, Finland. Vootele has been particularly interested in the role of biological and environmental factors in behavioural phenotyping, refinement of methods for understanding mouse behaviour and welfare in laboratory settings.