, Volume 46, Issue 6, pp 515–522 | Cite as

Genetic differences in C57BL/6 mouse substrains affect kidney crystal deposition

  • Masayuki Usami
  • Atsushi OkadaEmail author
  • Kazumi Taguchi
  • Shuzo Hamamoto
  • Kenjiro Kohri
  • Takahiro Yasui
Original Paper


We previously established an experimental model of calcium oxalate crystal deposition in the mouse kidney using C57BL/6 mice. C57BL/6J (B6J) and C57BL/6N (B6N) are two core substrains of C57BL/6 mice. B6J and B6N substrains have approximately the same genomic sequence. However, in whole-genome analyses, substrains have slight genetic differences in some genes. In this study, we used these substrains as kidney crystal formation models and compared their genetic backgrounds to elucidate the pathogenic mechanisms of kidney stone formation. Eight-week-old male B6J and B6N mice (n = 15 in each group) were administered 80 mg/kg glyoxylate for 12 days, and the amount of kidney crystal depositions was compared. The expression levels of six genes (Snap29, Fgf14, Aplp2, Lims1, Naaladl2, and Nnt) were investigated by quantitative polymerase chain reaction, and the protein levels were evaluated by western blotting and immunohistochemistry. The amount of kidney crystal depositions was significantly higher in B6J mice than in B6N mice on days 6 and 12. The expression of nicotinamide nucleotide transhydrogenase (Nnt) gene was significantly lower in B6J mice than in B6N mice. The expression of Nnt protein was observed only in B6N mice, and preferential high expression was seen in renal tubular epithelial cells. The results of this study provide compelling evidence that differences in mouse substrains affect kidney crystal deposition and that the absence of Nnt protein could be involved in crystal formation in B6J mice.


Kidney stones C57BL/6J substrain Nicotinamide nucleotide Transhydrogenase Mouse model 



We thank N. Kasuga and M. Noda for administrative assistance.


This study was funded by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology, Japan (Grant nos. 15H04976, 15K10627, 15K10628, 15K20104, 16K11054, and 16K15692) and research Grants from Aichi Kidney Foundation, Takeda Science Foundation, and Mitsui Life Social Welfare Foundation.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

In this study, we declare that there are no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable international, national, and institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

240_2018_1040_MOESM1_ESM.pptx (44 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PPTX 43 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Nephro-urologyNagoya City University Graduate School of Medical SciencesNagoyaJapan

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