Behavior Genetics

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 201-210

First online:

Mapping Quantitative Trait Loci for Open-Field Behavior in Mice

  • Howard K. GershenfeldAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
  • , Paul E. NeumannAffiliated withDepartment of Anatomy & Neurobiology, University of Dalhousie
  • , Chantal MathisAffiliated withLaboratorie de Psychophysiologie, URA-CNRS 1295, Universite Louis Pasteur
  • , Jacqueline N. CrawleyAffiliated withNIMH, NIH, Experimental Therapeutics Branch
  • , Xiaohua LiAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
  • , Steven M. PaulAffiliated withLilly Research LaboratoryDepartments of Psychiatry, Pharmacology and Toxicology, Indiana University School of Medicine

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By performing a whole genome screen in an F2 intercross of two strains of mice (A/J and C57BL/6J), which differ markedly in their behavioral response to a brightly lit open field (O-F), we have mapped several quantitative trait loci (QTL) for this complex behavioral phenotype. QTL on chromosomes 1 and 10 were identified that affect both initial ambulation in the O-F (initial “response to novelty” ambulation) (lod of 7.1 and 8.8, respectively) and vertical rearings (lod of 4.5 and 8.5, respectively). For habituated O-F behavior, QTL were identified on chromosomes 3 and 10 for ambulation (lod of 4.1 and 14.7, respectively) and on chromosomes 1, 10, and 19 for vertical rearings (lod of 5.8, 6.0, and 4.7, respectively). The QTL on chromosome 1 (near D1Mit1 16; 101 cM) was specific for initial O-F ambulation behavior, whereas the QTL on chromosome 10 (near D10Mit237; 74 cM) affected both initial and habituated rearing behavior. Additional suggestive QTL (lod, >2.8) were mapped to chromosomes 1, 8, 11, 15, and 19. The QTL on chromosomes 1, 10, and 19 individually explain from 3.2 to 12.7%. Collectively, the multiple independent QTL explain from 16.3 to 24.1% of the F2 population's phe-notypic variance, depending on the trait. These identified QTL should prove useful for dissecting the genetic and behavioral dimensions of O-F behavior, fostering an understanding of individual differences.

Chromosomal mapping quantitative trait loci (QTL) exploratory behavior novelty habituation