Marker-assisted introgression of the Compact mutant myostatin allele MstnCmpt-dl1Abc into a mouse line with extreme growth effects on body composition and muscularity

Genet Res. 2004 Dec;84(3):161-73. doi: 10.1017/s0016672304007165.


Myostatin is a negative regulator of muscle growth and mutations in its gene lead to muscular hypertrophy and reduced fat. In cattle, this is seen in 'double muscled' breeds. We have used marker-assisted introgression to introduce a murine myostatin mutation, MstnCmpt-dl1Abc [Compact (C)], into an inbred line of mice (DUHi) that had been selected on body weight and had exceptional growth. Compared with homozygous wild-type mice, homozygous (C/C) mice of this line were approximately 4-5 % lighter, had approximately 7-8 % shorter tails, substantially increased muscle weights (e.g. quadriceps muscle in males was 59 % heavier) and an increased 'dressing percentage' (approximately 49 % vs 39 %), an indicator of overall muscularity. The weights of several organs (e.g. liver, kidney, heart and digestive tract) were significantly reduced, by 12-20 %. Myostatin deficiency also resulted in drastic reductions of total body fat and of various fat depots, total body fat proportion falling from approximately 17.5 % in wild-type animals of both sexes to 9.5 % and 11.6% in homozygous (C/C) females and males, respectively. Males with a deficiency in myostatin had higher gains in muscle traits than females. Additionally, there was a strong distortion of the segregation ratio on the DUHi background. Of 838 genotyped pups from inter se matings 29 %, 63 % and 8 % were homozygous wild type (+/+), heterozygous (C/+) and homozygous (C/C), respectively, showing that MstnCmpt-dl1Abc has lower fitness on this background. This line, when congenic, will be a useful resource in gene expression studies and for finding modifying genes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers
  • Body Composition / genetics*
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • Female
  • Genes, Regulator*
  • Heterozygote
  • Homozygote
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Muscle, Skeletal / growth & development*
  • Organ Size / genetics
  • Tail / anatomy & histology


  • Biomarkers