Ulcerative Dermatitis in C57BL/6NCrl Mice on a Low-Fat or High-Fat Diet With or Without a Mineralized Red-Algae Supplement

J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci. 2015 Sep;54(5):487-96.


Ulcerative dermatitis (UD) is a spontaneous idiopathic disease that often affects C57BL/6 mice or mice on a C57BL/6 background. UD is characterized by intense pruritus and lesion formation, most commonly on the head or dorsal thorax. Self-trauma likely contributes to wound severity and delayed wound healing. Histologically, changes are nonspecific, consisting of ulceration with neutrophilic and mastocytic infiltration and epithelial hyperplasia and hyperkeratosis. Diet appears to have a profound effect on the development and progression of UD lesions. We investigated the incidence and severity of UD in C57BL/6NCrl mice on a high-fat western-style diet (HFWD) compared with a standard rodent chow. In addition, we examined the protective effects of dietary supplementation with a multimineral-rich product derived from marine red algae on UD in these 2 diet groups. HFWD-fed mice had an increased incidence of UD. In addition, mice on a HFWD had significantly more severe clinical and histologic lesions. Dietary mineral supplementation in mice on a HFWD decreased the histologic severity of lesions and reduced the incidence of UD in female mice in both diets. In conclusion, a high-fat western-style diet may potentiate UD in C57BL/6NCrl mice. Insufficient mineral supply and mineral imbalance may contribute to disease development. Mineral supplementation may be beneficial in the treatment of UD.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dermatitis / etiology
  • Dermatitis / pathology
  • Dermatitis / veterinary*
  • Diet, Fat-Restricted
  • Diet, High-Fat
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL*
  • Rhodophyta
  • Rodent Diseases / etiology*
  • Rodent Diseases / pathology
  • Species Specificity
  • Trace Elements / administration & dosage
  • Trace Elements / deficiency*


  • Trace Elements