The role of mouse strain differences in the susceptibility to fibrosis: a systematic review
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In humans, a number of genetic factors have been linked to the development of fibrosis in a variety of different organs. Seeking a wider understanding of this observation in man is ethically important. There is mounting evidence suggesting that inbred mouse strains with different genetic backgrounds demonstrate variable susceptibility to a fibrotic injury. We performed a systematic review of the literature describing strain and organ specific response to injury in order to determine whether genetic susceptibility plays a role in fibrogenesis. Data were collected from studies that were deemed eligible for analysis based on set inclusion criteria, and findings were assessed in relation to strain of mouse, type of injury and organ of investigation. A total of 44 studies were included covering 21 mouse strains and focusing on fibrosis in the lung, liver, kidney, intestine and heart. There is evidence that mouse strain differences influence susceptibility to fibrosis and this appears to be organ specific. For instance, C57BL/6J mice are resistant to hepatic, renal and cardiac fibrosis but susceptible to pulmonary and intestinal fibrosis. However, BALB/c mice are resistant to pulmonary fibrosis but susceptible to hepatic fibrosis. Few studies have assessed the effect of the same injury stimulus in different organ systems using the same strains of mouse. Such mouse strain studies may prove useful in elucidating the genetic as well as epigenetic factors in humans that could help determine why some people are more susceptible to the development of certain organ specific fibrosis than others.
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