, Volume 150, Issue 4, pp 412-421

Alcohol-induced locomotor activation in C57BL/6J, A/J, and AXB/BXA recombinant inbred mice: strain distribution patterns and quantitative trait loci analysis

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Rationale: Quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for initial sensitivity to alcohol have been identified in a number of mouse strains (e.g. BXD); however, confirmation is required. Objectives: The present paper aimed to characterize the C57BL/6J, A/J, and AXB/BXA recombinant inbred (RI) strains of mice for basal and ethanol-induced locomotor activation as measured in an open field and to provide provisional location of QTLs for these phenotypes. Methods: A/J and C57BL/6J mice were habituated to handling and then randomly assigned to receive one of four alcohol doses (0, 0.5, 1.0, 2.0 g/kg). Subsequently, all available strains of the AXB/BXA RI were tested with the 2 g/kg dose of ethanol or vehicle control. Results: Simple regression and interval mapping were used initially to identify significant gene markers associated with ethanol-induced activation (calculated as total activity on alcohol day–total activity on saline day). Subsequently, composite interval mapping (CIM) was used to increase the accuracy in mapping individual loci. Genetic markers on chromosomes 2, 3, 8, 13, 16, 18 and 19 were associated with ethanol-induced activation. Conclusions: Three significant markers identified through CIM accounted for 86% of the genetic variance in the ethanol-induced activation. QTLs on chromosome 16 (45.6 cM) and 19 (24 cM) previously associated with alcohol consumption in the AXB/BXA RI mice were found to overlap with QTLs for ethanol-induced activation identified in the present study.