Mammalian Genome

, 18:559 | Cite as

Neurobehavioral mutants identified in an ENU-mutagenesis project

  • Melloni N. Cook
  • Jonathan P. Dunning
  • Ronald G. Wiley
  • Elissa J. Chesler
  • Dabney K. Johnson
  • Darla R. Miller
  • Dan Goldowitz


We report on a battery of behavioral screening tests that successfully identified several neurobehavioral mutants among a large-scale ENU-mutagenized mouse population. Large numbers of ENU-mutagenized mice were screened for abnormalities in central nervous system function based on abnormal performance in a series of behavior tasks. We developed and used a high-throughput screen of behavioral tasks to detect behavioral outliers. Twelve mutant pedigrees, representing a broad range of behavioral phenotypes, have been identified. Specifically, we have identified two open-field mutants (one displaying hyperlocomotion, the other hypolocomotion), four tail-suspension mutants (all displaying increased immobility), one nociception mutant (displaying abnormal responsiveness to thermal pain), two prepulse inhibition mutants (displaying poor inhibition of the startle response), one anxiety-related mutant (displaying decreased anxiety in the light/dark test), and one learning-and-memory mutant (displaying reduced response to the conditioned stimulus). These findings highlight the utility of a set of behavioral tasks used in a high-throughput screen to identify neurobehavioral mutants. Further analysis (i.e., behavioral and genetic mapping studies) of mutants is in progress with the ultimate goal of identification of novel genes and mouse models relevant to human disorders as well as the identification of novel therapeutic targets.


Conditioned Stimulus Open Field Fear Conditioning Startle Response Prepulse Inhibition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by NIMH grant U01-MH61971 to DG with subcontract to MNC and 1 U01 AA013503 to DG. The authors gratefully acknowledge the important contributions of Gene Rinchik, Karen Goss, Ginger Shaw, Jason Spence, Jennifer Manrod, Eric Baker, Barbara Jackson, Leslie Galloway, Jody Cockroft, Andy Bush, Jay Snoddy, Lu Lu, Douglas Swanson, and all others involved at different levels and phases of this project. The authors also thank Drs. Howard Gershenfeld and Richard Paylor for their helpful advice and direction in the development and implementation of our behavioral screen.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melloni N. Cook
    • 1
  • Jonathan P. Dunning
    • 1
  • Ronald G. Wiley
    • 2
  • Elissa J. Chesler
    • 3
  • Dabney K. Johnson
    • 3
  • Darla R. Miller
    • 3
  • Dan Goldowitz
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MemphisMemphisUSA
  2. 2.VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System and Departments of Neurology and PharmacologyVeterans AdministrationNashvilleUSA
  3. 3.BioSciences DivisionOak Ridge National LaboratoryOak RidgeUSA
  4. 4.Department of Anatomy and NeurobiologyUniversity of Tennessee-MemphisMemphisUSA

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