|Open Access Gold|
Analysis of the sex-specific variability of blood parameters in C3H inbred mice by using data from a long-term, high-throughput project.
Mice are important models for biomedical research by providing the possibility of standardizing genetic background and environmental conditions, which both affect phenotypic variability. Use of both sexes in experiments is strongly recommended because of possible differences in the outcome. However, sex-specific phenotypic variability is discussed with regard to putative consequences on the group size which is necessary for achieving valid and reproducible results. Here, we retrospectively analyzed the sex-specific variability of 25 blood parameters of C3H inbred mice in two different mouse facilities within the long-term, high-throughput Munich ENU mouse mutagenesis project. Using the 95 % data range, data of 4,780-20,706 mice per parameter were analyzed and resulted in ratios of the coefficient of variation (= female CV / (female CV + male CV)) from 0.44 to 0.58 for the 25 parameters, with an overall mean of 0.51 in both facilities. Together with data analyses of three additional, smaller studies with 72-247 animals per parameter examined and various genetic backgrounds (inbred strains, F1 hybrids) included, hints for reproducible sex-specific variability were observed for particular parameters. Thus, the overall analysis comprising all 25 clinical chemical and hematological parameters of the standardized, long-term analysis of a high number of group housed, young adult, twelve-week-old C3H inbred mice showed no evidence for substantial sex-specific variability. The results may provide a basis for the examination of sex-specific variability in particular blood parameters.