Differential lung mechanics are genetically determined in inbred murine strains

Clarke G. Tankersley, Richard Rabold, Wayne Mitzner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Genetic determinants of lung structure and function have been demonstrated by differential phenotypes among inbred mice strains. For example, previous studies have reported phenotypic variation in baseline ventilatory measurements of standard inbred murine strains as well as segregant and nonsegregant offspring of C3H/HeJ (C3) and C57BL/6J (B6) progenitors. One purpose of the present study is to test the hypothesis that a genetic basis for differential baseline breathing pattern is due to variation in lung mechanical properties. Quasi-static pressure-volume curves were performed on standard and recombinant inbred strains to explore the interactive role of lung mechanics in determination of functional baseline ventilatory outcomes. At airway pressures between 0 and 30 cmH2O, lung volumes are significantly (P < 0.01) greater in C3 mice relative to the B6 and A/J strains. In addition, the B6C3F1/J offspring demonstrate lung mechanical properties significantly (P < 0.01) different from the C3 progenitor but not distinguishable from the B6 progenitor. With the use of recombinant inbred strains derived from C3 and B6 progenitors, cosegregation analysis between inspiratory timing and measurements of lung volume and compliance indicate that strain differences in baseline breathing pattern and pressure-volume relationships are not genetically associated. Although strain differences in lung volume and compliance between C3 and B6 mice are inheritable, this study supports a dissociation between differential inspiratory time at baseline, a trait linked to a putative genomic region on mouse chromosome 3, and differential lung mechanics among C3 and B6 progenitors and their progeny.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1764-1769
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1999


  • A/J
  • BXH recombinant inbred strains
  • C3H/HeJ
  • C57BL/6J
  • Control of breathing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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