REVIEW

Psychopharmacology

, Volume 132, Issue 2, pp 107-124

Behavioral phenotypes of inbred mouse strains: implications and recommendations for molecular studies

  • J. N. CrawleyAffiliated withSection on Behavioral Neuropharmacology, Experimental Therapeutics Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, Building 10, Room 4D11, Bethesda, MD 20892-1375, USA
  • , John K. BelknapAffiliated withPortland Alcohol Research Center, Department of Behavioral Neuroscience, Oregon Health Sciences University and VA Medical Center, Portland, OR 97201, USA
  • , Allan CollinsAffiliated withInstitute for Behavioral Genetics, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80303, USA
  • , John C. CrabbeAffiliated withPortland Alcohol Research Center, Department of Behavioral Neuroscience, Oregon Health Sciences University and VA Medical Center, Portland, OR 97201, USA
  • , Wayne FrankelAffiliated withThe Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, USA
  • , Norman HendersonAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH 44074-1086, USA
  • , Robert J. HitzemannAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, State University of New York, Stony Brook, NY 11794–8101, USA
  • , Stephen C. MaxsonAffiliated withBiobehavioral Sciences Graduate Degree Program and Department of Psychology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269-4154, USA
  • , Lucinda L. MinerAffiliated withMolecular Neurobiology Laboratory, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA
    • , Alcino J. SilvaAffiliated withCold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724, USA
    • , Jeanne M. WehnerAffiliated withInstitute for Behavioral Genetics, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80303, USA
    • , Anthony Wynshaw-BorisAffiliated withSection on Behavioral Neuropharmacology, Experimental Therapeutics Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, Building 10, Room 4D11, Bethesda, MD 20892-1375, USALaboratory of Genetic Disease Research, National Institute, Human Genome Research Institute, Bethesda, MD 20892-4470, USA
    • , R. PaylorAffiliated withSection on Behavioral Neuropharmacology, Experimental Therapeutics Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, Building 10, Room 4D11, Bethesda, MD 20892-1375, USA

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Abstract

 Choosing the best genetic strains of mice for developing a new knockout or transgenic mouse requires extensive knowledge of the endogenous traits of inbred strains. Background genes from the parental strains may interact with the mutated gene, in a manner which could severely compromise the interpretation of the mutant phenotype. The present overview summarizes the literature on a wide variety of behavioral traits for the 129, C57BL/6, DBA/2, and many other inbred strains of mice. Strain distributions are described for open field activity, learning and memory tasks, aggression, sexual and parental behaviors, acoustic startle and prepulse inhibition, and the behavioral actions of ethanol, nicotine, cocaine, opiates, antipsychotics, and anxiolytics. Using the referenced information, molecular geneticists can choose optimal parental strains of mice, and perhaps develop new embryonic stem cell progenitors, for new knockouts and transgenics to investigate gene function, and to serve as animal models in the development of novel therapeutics for human genetic diseases.

Key words Mouse Inbred strains Behavior Genetics Locomotion Open field activity Learning Memory Aggression Parental behaviors Acoustic startle Prepulse inhibition Alcohol Nicotine Cocaine Opiates Haloperidol Diazepam Breeding Embryonic stem cell lines Transgenic Knockouts Null mutation