Genetic influences on oestrous cyclicity in mice: Evidence that cycle length and frequency are differentially regulated

J. F. Nelson, K. Karelus, L. S. Felicio, T. E. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Studies in C57BL/6J, DBA/2J and C3H/HeJ mice and in two F1 hybrid strains (B6D2F1 and B6C3HF1) 2-5 months old revealed marked genotypic differences among inbred strains. C57 mice had three times as many regular (3-6 days) cycles as DBA and C3H mice due largely to fewer pseudopregnant-like (7-14 day) cycles. C57 had longer regular cycles than DBA and C3H mice. Although the frequencies of regular cycles of DBA and C3H mice were similar, the cycles of C3H mice were shorter than those of DBA mice. The results indicated that the genetic determinants of the frequency of regular cycles differ from those specifying cycle length. Frequency of regular cycles of F1 hybrids as either intermediate between the parent strains (B6D2F1) or similar to the C57 strain (B6C3HF1) suggesting that regular cycle frequency shows additive genetic variation in the former crosses, but mostly dominant variance in the latter background. Regular cycles were either shorter than in both parent strains (B6D2F1) or similar to one of them (B6C3HF1), indicating heterosis and dominance for genes specifying short cycles. Although the lack of reciprocal crosses meant that material effects and possible genomic imprinting effects could not be assessed, these results reveal marked genetic influences on cycle length and frequency and suggest that some of the genes specifying these two traits differ.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-268
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of reproduction and fertility
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1992


  • Genotype
  • Mouse
  • Oestrous cycle
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Embryology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Developmental Biology


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