, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 135-145

First online:

Wild-derived mouse stocks: an underappreciated tool for aging research

  • James M. HarperAffiliated withDepartment of Pathology and Geriatrics Center, University of Michigan School of Medicine Email author 


Virtually all biomedical research makes use of a relatively small pool of laboratory-adapted, inbred, isogenic stocks of mice. Although the advantages of these models are many, there are a number of disadvantages as well. When studying a multifaceted process such as aging, the problems associated with using laboratory stocks are greatly inflated. On the other hand, wild-derived mouse stocks, loosely defined here as either wild-caught individuals or the recent progeny of wild-caught individuals, have much to offer to biogerontology research. Hence, the aims of this review are threefold: (1) to (re)acquaint readers with the pros and cons of using a typical inbred laboratory mouse model for aging research; (2) to reintroduce the notion of using wild-derived mouse stocks in aging research as championed by Austad, Miller and others for more than a decade, and (3) to provide an overview of recent advances in biogerontology using wild-derived mouse stocks.


Aging Inbred Laboratory mouse Lifespan Wild-derived