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Open Access Behavioral Differences among Fourteen Inbred Mouse Strains Commonly Used as Disease Models

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We compared the behavior of 14 inbred mouse strains and an F1 hybrid commonly used in transgenic and knockout production. These strains were 129P3/J, 129S1/SvImJ, 129S6/SvEvTac, 129T2/SvEmsJ, 129X1/SvJ (formerly 129/J, 129/Sv-p+Tyr+Kitl+/J, 129/SvEvTac, 129SvEmsJ, and 129/SvJ, respectively), A/JCrTac, BALB/cAnNTac, C3H/HeNTac, C57BL/6J, C57BL/6NTac, DBA/2NTac, FVB/NTac, NOD/MrkTac, SJL/JCrNTac, and the hybrid B6129S6F1Tac. Performance in three behavioral tests (rotorod, open-field activity–habituation, and contextual and cued fear conditioning) was determined. On the rotorod assay, SJL/JCrNTac mice had the shortest latencies to fall on the first day of testing, and DBA/2NTac mice showed impaired motor learning. Open-field behavior was analyzed using the parameters total distance, center distance, velocity, and vertical activity. 129T2/EvEmsJ and A/JCrTac were least active in the open field, whereas NOD/MrkTac mice were most active. Contrary to earlier studies, we found that all strains habituated to the open field in at least one of these parameters. In contextual and cued fear conditioning, all strains displayed activity suppression. However, FVB/NTac mice reacted less strongly to both context and cue than did most of the other strains. There were no significant behavioral differences between C57BL/6J and C57BL/6NTac, except for higher open-field activity in C57BL/6J female mice. These findings illustrate the importance of the appropriate selection of background strain for transgenic, gene targeting, or drug research.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Taconic Farms, 273 Hover Avenue, Germantown, New York 12526, Taconic Albany, One University Place, Rensselaer, New York 12144 2: Genomics Institute, Wadsworth Center, 465 Jordan Road, Troy, New York 12180 3: Taconic Farms, 273 Hover Avenue, Germantown, New York 12526

Publication date: August 1, 2005

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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