Skip to main content

Genetic selection for high and low fasting blood glucose levels in mice. I. Fasting blood glucose levels, glucose tolerance and isolated tissue studies


Swiss-Hauschka mice have been selected for high (HG) and low (LG) fasting blood glucose (FBG) levels for four generations. All matings were brother to sister. Differences in mean FBG levels have remained relatively constant (20 to 30 mg%) between the two lines since initiation of selection (p<0.001). Body weights have declined more rapidly with inbreeding in the LG line as compared to the HG line through F3, but no further decline was noted in the F4 generation. Fasting serum immunoreactive insulin (IRI) levels were variable and mean levels for the two lines did not differ significantly. A comparison of glucose tolerance data between F3 HG and LG line animals showed generally higher mean glucose levels in the HG line in both fasted and randomfed states. The mean delta glucose levels during the test, however, were nearly identical in both lines. A dietary influence on glucose tolerance was shown. Severalin vitro tissue studies revealed no significant differences in hepatic glycogen and pancreatic insulin content between HG and LG line animals. Isolated tissue sensitivity to insulin appeared indistinguishable between the lines; however, hepatic gluconeogenesis and retinal glucose-6-14C oxidation rates in HG line mice may be enhanced.


  1. Brook lodge workshop on spontaneous diabetes in laboratory animals. Diabetologia3, 63–286 (1967).

  2. Gleason, R.E., Lauris, V., Soeldner, J.S.: Studies on experimental diabetes in the Wellesley hybrid mouse III. Dietary effects and similar changes in a commercial Swiss-Hauschka strain. Diabetologia3, 175–178 (1967).

    Google Scholar 

  3. Kramer, M.W., Liberman, D.F., Soeldner, J.S., Gleason, R.E.: Dissociation of hyperglycemia and obesity in mice fed high fat diets. Diabetologia5, 353–355 (1969).

    Google Scholar 

  4. Cammidge, P.J., Howard, H.A.H.: Hyperglycemia as a mendelian recessive character in mice. J. Genet.16, 387–392 (1926).

    Google Scholar 

  5. Cammidge, P.J., Howard, H.A.H.: The hereditary transmission of hypoglycemia in mice. Proc. roy. Soc. Med.23, 1341–1343 (1930).

    Google Scholar 

  6. Dunn, L.C., Fisher, R.A.: A new series of allelomorphs in mice. Nature (Lond.)129, 130 (1932).

    Google Scholar 

  7. Gruneberg, H., Haidane, J.B.S.: Congenital hyperglycemia in mice. Nature (Lond.)145, 704–705 (1940).

    Google Scholar 

  8. Soeldner, J.S., Slone, D.: Critical variables in the radioimmunoassay of serum insulin using the double antibody technic. Diabetes14, 771–779 (1965).

    Google Scholar 

  9. Davoren, P.R.: The isolation of insulin from a single cat pancreas. Biochem. biophys. Acta63, 150–153 (1962).

    Google Scholar 

  10. Chick, W.L., Lavine, R.L., Like, A.A.: Studies in the diabetic mutant mouse: V. Glucose tolerance in mice homozygous and heterozygous for the diabetes (db) gene. Diabetologia16, 257–262 (1970).

    Google Scholar 

  11. Renold, A.E., Martin, D.B., Dagenais, Y.M., Steinke, J., Nickerson, R.J., Sheps, M.C.: Measurement of small quantities of insulin-like activity using rat adipose tissue. I. A proposed procedure. J. clin. Invest.39, 1487–1497 (1960).

    Google Scholar 

  12. Ensinck, J.W., Poffenbarger, P.L., Hogan, R.A., Williams, R.H.: Studies of insulin antagonism. I. An artificial antagonist to insulin and plasma nonsuppressible insulin-like activity occurring in preparation of “albumin”. Diabetes16, 289–301 (1967).

    Google Scholar 

  13. Krebs, H.A., Notton, B.M., Hems, R.: Gluconeogenesis in mouse liver slices. Biochem. J.101, 607–617 (1966).

    Google Scholar 

  14. Van Handel, E.: Estimation of glycogen in small amounts of tissue. Anal. Biochem.11, 256–265 (1965).

    Google Scholar 

  15. Lowry, O.H., Rosebrough, N.J., Farr, A.L., Randell, R.J.: Protein measurement with the Folin phenol reagent. J. biol. Chem.193, 265–275 (1951).

    Google Scholar 

  16. Steel, R.G.D., Torrie, J.H.: Principles and procedures of statistics, p. 73 and 183. New York: Mc Graw-Hill 1960.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Charlesworth, D.: Small, inherited differences in blood glucose levels in mice. Genet. Res.14, 1–7 (1969).

    Google Scholar 

  18. Cole, V.V., Harned, B.K.: Diabetic traits in a strain of rats. Endocrinology23, 318–326 (1938).

    Google Scholar 

  19. Cole, V.V., Harned, B.K., Keeler, C.E.: Inheritance of glucose tolerance. Endocrinology28, 25–32 (1941).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Additional information

Supported in part by U.S.P.H.S. Grants AM-11959, AM-09748, 1-FO3-AM-30777, and AM-05077, and the Upjohn Company, Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Gleason, R.E., Poffenbarger, P.L. & Lavine, R.L. Genetic selection for high and low fasting blood glucose levels in mice. I. Fasting blood glucose levels, glucose tolerance and isolated tissue studies. Diabetologia 9, 268–273 (1973).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Key words

  • Mice
  • genetic selection
  • fasting blood glucose
  • body weight
  • glucose tolerance
  • insulin
  • dietary fat
  • isolated tissues
  • randomfed