Faculty Research 1980 - 1989


Narrow axis: an inherited anomaly of the second cervical vertebra in the rabbit.

Document Type


Publication Date



Cervical-Vertebrae: ab, Comparative-Study, Genes-Recessive, Rabbits: ge, Species-Specificity, SUPPORT-NON-U-S-GOVT, SUPPORT-U-S-GOVT-P-H-S

JAX Location


JAX Source

J-Hered. 1983 Jan-Feb; 74(1):47-50.




Narrow axis, an inherited anomaly resulting in a marked narrowing of the second cervical vertebra, has been observed in strain X/J rabbits. This condition is first recognizable on X rays at 32-33 days gestation. For size comparisons 21 measurements of the first five cervical vertebrae were taken on the skeletons of each of 14 strain X/J animals (7 normal and 7 with narrow axis) and 14 IIIC/J animals for control at two months of age and 27 strain X/J (11 normal and 16 narrow axis) and 14 strain IIIC/J at seven months of age. The primary effect appeared to be a premature fusion of the centrum with its neural arches. Expression is variable. The effect on the posterior articulation of the atlas appeared to be secondary and adaptive. The other cervical vertebrae and the foramen magnum were relatively unaffected. In the 20-year period encompassed in this report, X rays of 3244 rabbits were used for genetic analysis. Inheritance appears to be due to a single autosomal recessive gene with incomplete penetrance. The condition is neither sex-linked nor sex-limited. We propose the symbol nx for the gene responsible for narrow axis in the rabbit.

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