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Mouse Strains

RBF/DnJ Mouse Strain

By October 15, 2019No Comments


RBF/DnJ, also known as POSF, is an inbred strain of mouse model that is especially useful for antibody production.[1]


RBF/DnJ is descended from a Swiss wild strain known as “tobacco mouse” on account of its coat color. Gropp, who found the original mouse stock, carried out brother-sister inbreeding before passing the mice to Roderick in 1969 (or 1970, sources disagree here[2]). They then passed to Davisson in 1981, who brought them to the Jackson Laboratory. RBF/DnJ came to Jackson via hysterectomy derivation and fostering with C57BL/6J.[1][3]

Physical Characteristics

RBF/DnJ mice are albino, and are described as having “clean white coats”, as well as greater than normal body fat.[3]

Behavioral Characteristics & Handling

They are described a being active mice, with the weanlings especially active. They are not described as anxious or aggressive, implying that they are not especially difficult mice to deal with. Nonetheless, researching requiring a highly docile strain will probably not want to opt for RBF/DnJ. It should also be noted that they are said to be poor breeders.[3]

A 2002 study looking at 28 different mouse strains found that RBF/DnJ had the highest daily food intake (in grams of food per mouse) of all the strains, and also one of the highest rates of water intake.[4] This is not surprising given RBF/DnJ’s higher than usual body fat (see above) and may have implications for obesity research.

Health Characteristics

The RBF/DnJ strain has a number of salient genetic abnormalities, including the Robertsonian translocations from which its name derives. RBF/DnJ is homozygous for Robertsonian translocations Rb(1.3)1Bnr, Rb(8.12)5Bnr and Rb(9.14)6Bnr.[1]

A Robertsonian translocation is an abnormality in which one chromosome becomes attached to another. Most Robertsonian translocations do not have a significant impact on bodily function. In the case of RBF/DnJ, one interesting consequence is a change in locus that places the gene for immunoglobulin heavy chain adjacent to a gene for adenosine phosphoribosyltransferase, making hybridoma creation easier with this strain (see below).[5]

RBF/DnJ mice also possess a mutant allele of the gene retinal degeneration 3 causing a truncated protein and death of retinal photoreceptor cells; there are no cells remaining at all by eight weeks of age, conferring complete blindness. This is the only kind of retinal degeneration yet described in mice where the photoreceptor cells initially appear normal prior to cell loss.[1]

Like many inbred strains, these mice have the allele ahl of cadherin 23 resulting in gradual loss of hearing from a young age. They also have the d variant of aryl hydrocarbon receptor, altering ligand affinity and impacting metabolism and gene expression regulation. Finally, they possess the tobacco darkening allele of melanocortin receptor 1 resulting in an overactive receptor and overactivation of adenylate cyclase.[1]

Major Experimental Uses

The RBF/DnJ strain is primarily used in the production of antibody-producing hybridomas. They have also been used in research on genetics, cancer, retinal degeneration and hearing defects.[1][3]


  1. 000726 – RBF/DnJ. 2019. 000726 – RBF/DnJ. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 19 September 2019].
  2. MGI – Inbred Strains: RBF. 2019. MGI – Inbred Strains: RBF. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 19 September 2019].
  3. The Jackson Laboratory Handbook on Genetically Standardized Mice. 6th ed. 2009. [ONLINE]. Available at:
  4. Bachmanov, A. A., Reed, D. R., Beauchamp, G. K., & Tordoff, M. G. 2002. Food intake, water intake, and drinking spout side preference of 28 mouse strains. Behavior genetics. 32(6), 435–443.
  5. RT Taggart, IM Samloff. 1983. Stable antibody-producing murine hybridomas. Science. 219. 4589. 1228-1230.
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