Hyaline Arteriolosclerosis in 30 Strains of Aged Inbred Mice.
During a screen for vascular phenotypes in aged laboratory mice, a unique discrete phenotype of hyaline arteriolosclerosis of the intertubular arteries and arterioles of the testes was identified in several inbred strains. Lesions were limited to the testes and did not occur as part of any renal, systemic, or pulmonary arteriopathy or vasculitis phenotype. There was no evidence of systemic or pulmonary hypertension, and lesions did not occur in ovaries of females. Frequency was highest in males of the SM/J (27/30, 90%) and WSB/EiJ (19/26, 73%) strains, aged 383 to 847 days. Lesions were sporadically present in males from several other inbred strains at a much lower (<20%) frequency. The risk of testicular hyaline arteriolosclerosis is at least partially underpinned by a genetic predisposition that is not associated with other vascular lesions (including vasculitis), separating out the etiology of this form and site of arteriolosclerosis from other related conditions that often co-occur in other strains of mice and in humans. Because of their genetic uniformity and controlled dietary and environmental conditions, mice are an excellent model to dissect the pathogenesis of human disease conditions. In this study, a discrete genetically driven phenotype of testicular hyaline arteriolosclerosis in aging mice was identified. These observations open the possibility of identifying the underlying genetic variant(s) associated with the predisposition and therefore allowing future interrogation of the pathogenesis of this condition.