C57BL/6J and C57BL/6N substrains differentially influence phenotype severity in the Scn1a+/− mouse model of Dravet syndrome

Seok K. Kang, Nicole A. Hawkins, Jennifer A. Kearney*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Many disease-relevant phenotypes modeled in inbred mice have been shown to be strain-dependent, indicating the important influence of genetic background on disease phenotypes. Although C57BL/6 mice are one of the most commonly used inbred strains in laboratory research, there are multiple substrains (eg, B6J vs B6N) that have been separated for more than 50 years. Thus, understanding the substrain differences is important for scientific rigor and reproducibility. In this study, seizure susceptibility, spontaneous seizures, and survival were compared between Scn1a+/− mice on (C57BL/6J × 129S6/SvEvTac)F1 (F1J) vs (C57BL/6N × 129S6/SvEvTac)F1 (F1N) strain backgrounds. F1N.Scn1a+/− mice were more susceptible to hyperthermia-induced seizures, yet had milder spontaneous seizures and improved survival relative to F1J.Scn1a+/− mice. Our results indicate that choice of C57BL/6 substrain may significantly alter disease phenotypes and should be considered carefully in experimental design using the Scn1a+/− Dravet mouse model, as well as other mouse models of epilepsy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)164-169
Number of pages6
JournalEpilepsia Open
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2019


  • Dravet syndrome
  • epilepsy
  • genetics
  • mouse model
  • voltage-gated sodium channel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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