Mangy Mice in Jackson
tree60015 at aol.com
Fri Mar 15 09:12:08 EST 1996
a forwarded posting from a friend who has limited internet access.
>Subject: Mangy mice from Jackson
>From: iddavis at vms.cis.pitt.edu
>Date: 11 Mar 96 16:08:31 EDT
>We have had several deliveries of C57BL/6 mice from Jackson, all
>with a very nasty dermatitis that ends up ulcerating the skin.
>Has anybody else had problems with them?
>Ian Davis iddavis at vms.cis.pitt.edu
>University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute
>Subject: Re: Mangy mice from Jackson
>From: ttha at uhura.cc.rochester.edu (Tom Thatcher)
>Date: Tue, 12 Mar 96 04:35:23 GMT
>In <4i24on$79v at usenet.srv.cis.pitt.edu> iddavis at vms.cis.pitt.edu
>>We have had several deliveries of C57BL/6 mice from Jackson, all
>>with a very nasty dermatitis that ends up ulcerating the skin.
>>Has anybody else had problems with them?
>Well, not exactly, but two female mice that were bred by
>backcrossing a transgenic line onto B10.A developed a dermatitis
>which led to sloughing off of the skin. Pathological exam
>revealed no ectoparasites. I learned from reading the strain
>lists on the web at Jackson that C57 mice have a low frequency of
>developing a skin irritation which leads to self-mutilation
>similar to what I saw in my colony.
Sorry folks, I'm not up on my breed lines. But if you're talking
about balb c nude mice... yes, I've seen it before - years ago.
We called it the grungies. Usually lasted 2-3 weeks and then
cleared up. This was back when we were getting those free mice
through NIH/Fredricks (you know what they say, you get what you
Anyway, the small animal vet at the facility changed the food to
Radiated individual sealed bags of food and changed the type of
bedding (sorry, don't remember to what kind). And it cleared up
The funny thing was, how MDs insisted on using these mice before
the skin grungies had a chance to clear up??? Oh well.
I also recall reading in a book on the use of nude mice in cancer
research (which, I don't recall the author at the moment).. that it
was suspected these Fredricks mice at that time may have been
carrying a virus (of which the book did not directly relate this
skin grungies to - but it was something I often wondered about).
Then of course the free mouse program was ended. Which naturally
added to my suspicions on exactly how clean these animals were?
As any *good* worker in cancer research which utilizes nude mice
know... viral infections can alter the tumors you are growing (and
in many cases... actually helps a tumor to start growing which
normally does not grow well in that animal).
Just some food for thought.
But back to your main question... the best people to talk to about
this is the people at Jackson labs directly. Call their technical
hot line and grill them.
My guess... they'll tell you you need to transport them more
expensively in their plastic cargo system to assure no contact with
outside air - and make you spend more money.
Actually, I think this all may be one of the reasons why Baylor
developed an animal facility in which they breed all their own mice
and do not allow ANY outside animals to enter it... let alone be
housed in there.
Ah, the joys of cancer research!
Cynthia J. Williams MT(ASCP)
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