Survival and Growth of C57BL/6J Mice Lacking the BK Channel, Kcnma1: Lower Adult Body Weight Occurs Together with Higher Body Fat
Big conductance potassium (BK) channels contribute to K+ flow and electrical behavior in many cell types. Mice made null for the gene (Kcnma1) producing the BK channel (BKKO) exhibit numerous deficits in physiological functions. Breeding mice lacking a single allele of Kcnma1 (C57BL/6J background) had litter sizes of approximately eight pups. For the period of maternal care (P0– P21), pup deaths peaked at P1 with a second less severe interval of death peaking near P13. Early deaths were twice as likely during a 20-month period of building construction compared with the quiescent period after cessation of construction. Births during construction were not consistent with Mendelian predictions indicating the likelihood of a specific disadvantage induced by this environmental stressor. Later BKKO pup deaths (~P13) also were more numerous than Mendelian expectations. After weaning, weight gain was slower for BKKO mice compared with wild-type littermates: 5 g less for male BKKO mice and 4 g less for female BKKO mice. Body composition determined by quantitative magnetic resonance indicated a higher fat proportion for wild-type female mice compared with males, as well as a higher hydration ratio. Both male and female BKKO mice showed higher fat proportions than wild-type, with female BKKO mice exhibiting greater variation. Together, these results indicate that BKKO mice suffered disadvantages that lead to prenatal and perinatal death. A metabolic difference likely related to glucose handling led to the smaller body size and distinct composition for BKKO mice, suggesting a diversion of energy supplies from growth to fat storage.
Halm, S. T.,
Bottomley, M. A.,
Almutairi, M. M.,
Di Fulvio, M.,
& Halm, D. R.
(2017). Survival and Growth of C57BL/6J Mice Lacking the BK Channel, Kcnma1: Lower Adult Body Weight Occurs Together with Higher Body Fat. Physiological Reports, 5 (4), e13137.
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