2021 Volume 70 Issue 2 Pages 145-160
The inbred mouse strain C57BL/6 has been widely used as a background strain for spontaneous and induced mutations. Developed in the 1930s, the C57BL/6 strain diverged into two major groups in the 1950s, namely, C57BL/6J and C57BL/6N, and more than 20 substrains have been established from them worldwide. We previously reported genetic differences among C57BL/6 substrains in 2009 and 2015. Since then, dozens of reports have been published on phenotypic differences in behavioral, neurological, cardiovascular, and metabolic traits. Substrains need to be chosen according to the purpose of the study because phenotypic differences might affect the experimental results. In this paper, we review recent reports of phenotypic and genetic differences among C57BL/6 substrains, focus our attention on the proper use of C57BL/6 and other inbred strains in the era of genome editing, and provide the life science research community wider knowledge about this subject.