Strain differences in autotomy in mice after peripheral nerve transection or repair

Roee E. Rubinstein, Kenneth C. Deem, John Jensen, Susan E. Mackinnon, Thomas H. Tung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to identify the optimal murine model for the study of peripheral nerve injury and nerve and limb transplantation. The degree of self-mutilation (autotomy) following sciatic and saphenous nerve injury was assessed in four mouse strains, Balb/C, C57BL/6J, C57BL/10J, and C3HEB, commonly used in surgical research. Experimental groups included sciatic and saphenous nerve transection with repair (n = 9) or without repair (n = 9), as well as housing arrangements favoring social interaction vs. isolation. Autotomy was most prevalent in the Balb/c and C3H strains at 56% and 89% overall, respectively, and was much less frequently seen in the C57BI/10 and C57BI/6 strains (22% and 11%, respectively). Autotomy was found to correlate most strongly with mouse strain, and with social contact as well. Two strains, C57BL/6J and C57BL/10J, were found to be highly resistant to self-mutilation, and are thus ideal animal models for peripheral-nerve and whole-limb transplant studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-368
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2003


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