BuiltWithNOF
Rat strains

Strains and stocks of rats most widely used in biomedical research are listed in the table below. This is based on a PubMed  search of the number of papers using the designated strain or stock for the years 2001-2005. Note that inbred strains were used on only 11.9% of occasions, with the vast majority of work being done using outbred  Sprague-Dawley or Wistar rats. Only 12 inbred rat strains have a PubMed MeSH  heading.

The most popular rat inbred strains are listed in  descending order of the number of citations. Thus, the most widely  used strain was F344, accounting for 32.1% of occasions on which an inbred  strain was used, next being LEW at 22.5% and so on.

A list of inbred strains and their characteristics is  maintained on the Jackson Laboratory web site.

There has been significant under-investment in inbred rat strains over a period of many years. A lot is known about F344, but relatively little about all the other  strains. The Rat Phenome project being run by a Japanese consortium is characterising many isogenic rat strains for a wide range of physiological, biochemical and morphological  parameters.

 

Stock/strain
Number of papers
MESH
% All rats
 

Sprague-Dawley*

49,477

Yes

40.9

-

Wistar*

41,929

Yes

34.7

-

Long-Evans*

13,467

Yes

11.1

-

Mutants

1,601

Yes

1.3

-

Inbred strains

14,353

 

11.9

 

Total

* Outbred stocks

120,827
-
100.0
-
Inbred strains only
-
-
-
-% Inbred rats

F344

4,611

Yes

3.8

32.1

LEW

3,227

Yes

2.7

22.5

SHR

2,086

Yes

1.7

14.5

WKY

1,821

Yes

1.5

12.7

BN

989

Yes

0.8

6.9

Dahl SS and SR

318

Yes

0.3

2.2

WF

309

Yes

0.3

2.2

ACI

224

Yes

0.2

1.6

BB

209

Yes

0.2

1.5

OLETF

171

Yes

0.1

1.2

WAG

95

No

0.1

0.7

BUF

90

Yes

0.1

0.6

PVG

79

No

0.1

0.6

LEC

66

Yes

0.1

0.5

OM

16

No

0.0

0.1

COP

15

No

0.0

0.1

BDIX

12

No

0.0

0.1

BDII

8

No

0.0

0.1

BH

7

No

0.0

0.0

Total inbred strains
14,353
-
11.9
100.0