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The impact of maternal uterine genotype on postnatal growth and adult body size in mice

, : The impact of maternal uterine genotype on postnatal growth and adult body size in mice. Genetics 122(1): 193-203

Embryo transfers were used to demonstrate that the genotype of the mother providing the uterine developmental environment significantly influences postnatal growth and adult body size of her progeny. Irrespective of their own genotype, mouse embryos transferred into the uterus of an inbred strain with large body size (C3H) had greater body weights, longer tails and higher growth rates than those transferred into the uterus of a strain with small body size (SWR). Uterine heterosis on body size was smaller than progeny heterosis, and both progeny and uterine heterosis persisted in adult mice. Uterine litter size was significantly negatively associated with body weight, tail length, growth rate and the timing of developmental events. The inbred SWR strain was more sensitive to the embryo transfer procedure than the C3H strain, but effects due to embryo transfer were moderate. Prenatal uterine effects have ramifications for biotechnologies utilizing embryo transfers as well as predictions about evolutionary change by selection.


PMID: 2731729

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