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Open Access Increased Incidence of Vaginal Septum in C57BL/6J Mice Since 1976

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Abstract:

Decreased fertility was observed in a breeding colony of C57BL/6J mice. On examination, a dorsoventral vaginal septum was detected in many females. This defect was identified in 1976, with incidence of 4.0% in this strain. Our objective was to determine whether incidence of this condition has increased and whether this defect was associated with the observed infertility. We report incidence of 11.3%, nearly triple the original reported incidence. For comparison, incidence of vaginal septum in C57BL/6N females was determined and was found to be 1%. We performed a breeding study using normal and affected C57BL/6J females to evaluate fertility in affected females. Our data were consistent with those of the 1976 report; fertility was decreased in females with an intact vaginal septum. In 50% of affected females, the septum remained intact after breeding. The fertility for this subgroup of vaginal septum-retained females was 14.3%, compared with 85.7% in females whose septum ruptured and 75.0% in normal females (statistically significant, P = 0.02). On the basis of our results, we provide animal and financial loss data due to the defect. Lastly, we provide suggestions on how to minimize animal losses and be in accordance with the principles of the 3Rs (replacement, refinement, reduction).

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Comparative Medicine, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, 630 West 168th St., New York, New York 10032 2: Department of Pathology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, 630 West 168th St., New York, New York 10032

Publication date: August 1, 2004

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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