Unusual anatomical origins of the coronary arteries in C57BL/6 mice. Are they strain-specific?

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A previous manuscript [Fernández B, et al. (2008) J Anat 212, 12] reported on the unusual coronary artery patterns in mice belonging to the C57BL/6 strain. The aim here was to elucidate whether this pattern is unique to C57BL/6 mice or appears in other laboratory mouse strains and in wild-living mice. Stereomicroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, light microscopy and a corrosion cast technique were used to examine 597 adult mice belonging to three inbred strains (C57BL/6, Balb/c, DBA/2), three outbred stocks (CD1, OF1, NMRI) two hybrid lines (129sv × BL/6, CD2F1) and wild mice. It was shown that lock-like ostium is an exclusive trait of C57BL/6 mice, whereas left septal artery, accessory ostium, high take-off, intramural course and solitary ostium in aorta are all present in the different laboratory strains and wild mice included in the present study. However, each mouse population shows a specific incidence of these coronary conditions. Several clinically relevant human coronary artery anomalies are present in healthy mice from different strains that may serve as animal models for humans. These results should be taken into consideration in research concerning the murine coronary system, especially in coronary artery occlusion experiments and in studies on cardiovascular developmental biology using murine mutant lines.
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coronary arteries, genetic background, mouse, strain