The collaborative cross: a recombinant inbred mouse population for the systems genetic era

ILAR J. 2011;52(1):24-31. doi: 10.1093/ilar.52.1.24.


The mouse is the most extensively used mammalian model for biomedical and aging research, and an extensive catalogue of laboratory resources is available to support research using mice: classical inbred lines, genetically modified mice (knockouts, transgenics, and humanized mice), selectively bred lines, consomics, congenics, recombinant inbred panels, outbred and heterogeneous stocks, and an expanding set of wild-derived strains. However, these resources were not designed or intended to model the heterogeneous human population or for a systematic analysis of phenotypic effects due to random combinations of uniformly distributed natural variants. The Collaborative Cross (CC) is a large panel of recently established multiparental recombinant inbred mouse lines specifically designed to overcome the limitations of existing mouse genetic resources for analysis of phenotypes caused by combinatorial allele effects. The CC models the complexity of the human genome and supports analyses of common human diseases with complex etiologies originating through interactions between allele combinations and the environment. The CC is the only mammalian resource that has high and uniform genomewide genetic variation effectively randomized across a large, heterogeneous, and infinitely reproducible population. The CC supports data integration across environmental and biological perturbations and across space (different labs) and time.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / genetics
  • Aging / physiology
  • Animals
  • Crosses, Genetic*
  • Mice
  • Models, Animal