2015 Volume 64 Issue 1 Pages 25-29
Although Slc:Wistar rats are used widely in biomedical research as outbred rats, close similarities in growth curves, survival rates, and immunological and biochemical phenotypes have been reported between Slc:Wistar and F344 inbred rats. We reported previously that nine genetic variations that were fixed in Slc:Wistar rats had identical genotypes in F344 rats. Here, we examined the genetic characteristics of Slc:Wistar rats using 27 simple-sequence length polymorphism (SSLP) markers and compared them with other Wistar stocks available in Japan and with some F344 strains. Among 27 SSLP loci, 23 (85%) were fixed in the Slc:Wistar rats, which was the highest among the other Wistar stocks. The 23 fixed loci shared identical genotypes with corresponding loci in F344 rats. Further, the predominant allele types in the unfixed loci had allele frequencies as high as 80%, and these alleles were identical in the F344 rats. When the nine genetic variations reported previously are added, a total of 32 (89%) out of the 36 loci examined were fixed and identical in the Slc:Wistar and F344 rat genomes. These findings indicate the low genetic variation in Slc:Wistar rats and the high genetic similarity between the Slc:Wistar and F344 inbred rats. This study demonstrates the importance of characterizing outbred rats and the need to pay ample attention to the genetic characteristics the Slc:Wistar rats for their proper use.