Metabolic Brain Disease

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 443–455 | Cite as

Peromyscus maniculatus bairdii as a naturalistic mammalian model of obsessive-compulsive disorder: current status and future challenges

  • De Wet Wolmarans
  • Isabella M. Scheepers
  • Dan J. Stein
  • Brian H. Harvey
Original Article


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a prevalent and debilitating condition, characterized by intrusive thoughts and repetitive behavior. Animal models of OCD arguably have the potential to contribute to our understanding of the condition. Deer mice (Permomyscus maniculatus bairdii) are characterized by stereotypic behavior which is reminiscent of OCD symptomology, and which may serve as a naturalistic animal model of this disorder. Moreover, a range of deer mouse repetitive behaviors may be representative of different compulsive-like phenotypes. This paper will review work on deer mouse behavior, and evaluate the extent to which this serves as a valid and useful model of OCD. We argue that findings over the past decade indicate that the deer mouse model has face, construct and predictive validity.


Deer mouse Obsessive-compulsive Stereotypy Nest building Marble burying Social Animal model 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Pharmacology, Center of Excellence for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Health SciencesNorth-West UniversityPotchefstroomSouth Africa
  2. 2.MRC Unit on Risk and Resilience in Mental DisordersCape TownSouth Africa
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, MRC Unit on Risk and Resilience in Mental DisordersUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa

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