Multiple trait measurements in 43 inbred mouse strains capture the phenotypic diversity characteristic of human populations

Karen L. Svenson*, Randy Von Smith, Phyllis A. Magnani, Heather R. Suetin, Beverly Paigen, Jürgen K. Naggert, Renhua Li, Gary A. Churchill, Luanne L. Peters

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

137 Scopus citations


The breadth of genetic and phenotypic variation among inbred strains is often underappreciated because assessments include only a limited number of strains. Evaluation of a larger collection of inbred strains provides not only a greater understanding of this variation but collectively mimics much of the variation observed in human populations. We used a highthroughput phenotyping protocol to measure females and males of 43 inbred strains for body composition (weight, fat, lean tissue mass, and bone mineral density), plasma triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein and total cholesterol, glucose, insulin, and leptin levels while mice consumed a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet. Mice were fed a chow diet until they were 6-8 wk old and then fed the high-fat diet for an additional 18 wk. As expected, broad phenotypic diversity was observed among these strains. Significant variation between the sexes was also observed for most traits measured. Additionally, the response to the high-fat diet differed considerably among many strains. By the testing of such a large set of inbred strains for many traits, multiple phenotypes can be considered simultaneously and thereby aid in the selection of certain inbred strains as models for complex human diseases. These data are publicly available in the web-accessible Mouse Phenome Database (, an effort established to promote systematic characterization of biochemical and behavioral phenotypes of commonly used and genetically diverse inbred mouse strains. Data generated by this effort builds on the value of inbred mouse strains as a powerful tool for biomedical research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2369-2378
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2007


  • Body composition
  • Cholesterol
  • Complex traits
  • High-density lipoprotein cholesterol
  • High-throughput phenotyping
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Mouse models
  • Mouse phenome database
  • Osteoporosis
  • Triglycerides


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