Behavior Genetics

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 171–180

Characterization of benzodiazepine-sensitive behaviors in the A/J and C57BL/6J inbred strains of mice

Authors

  • Chantal Mathis
    • Section on Behavioral Neuropharmacology, Experimental Therapeutics Branch, National Institute of Mental HealthNational Institutes of Health
  • Steven M. Paul
    • Section on Molecular Pharmacology, Clinical Neuroscience Branch, National Institute of Mental HealthNational Institutes of Health
  • Jacqueline N. Crawley
    • Section on Behavioral Neuropharmacology, Experimental Therapeutics Branch, National Institute of Mental HealthNational Institutes of Health
Article

DOI: 10.1007/BF01067821

Cite this article as:
Mathis, C., Paul, S.M. & Crawley, J.N. Behav Genet (1994) 24: 171. doi:10.1007/BF01067821

Abstract

Exploratory behaviors as well as pharmacological actions of γ-aminobutyric acidA (GABAA)/benzodiazepine receptor agonists and inverse agonists were characterized in C57BL/6J and A/J strains of mice. C57BL/6J mice displayed higher levels of exploratory behavior than A/J mice in the light⇋dark exploration model of anxiety and in an openfield test, suggesting that C57BL/6J mice are less “emotional” and more active than A/J mice, respectively. However, C57BL/6J mice were more sensitive than A/J mice to the anxiolytic effects of diazepam in the light⇋dark exploration model. In contrast, A/J mice,were more sensitive than C57BL/6J mice to the convulsant effects of methyl-β-carboline-3-carboxylate. C57BL/6J mice showed no evidence of acquisition of a passive avoidance task, while A/J readily acquired this memory task at low levels of footshock. C57BL/6J and A/J mice should be useful parental strains in recombinant inbred lines for investigating the genetic determinants of benzodiazepine-sensitive behaviors and sensitivity to drugs acting on the GABAA/benzodiazepine receptor complex.

Key Words

Anxietyexploratory activityseizuresmemoryγ-aminobutyric acidA (GABAA)/benzodiazepine receptor

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1994