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Open Access The Effect of Fostering on the Genetic Expression of Locomotor Sensitivity to Alcohol

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Steps were taken to eradicate endemic mouse coronavirus from a colony that was part of a behavioral project characterizing the genetics of alcohol sensitivity. This behavioral study was conducted to determine whether changing the uterine or rearing environment (as is integral to common rederivation methods) would have a significant effect on the expression of the behavioral traits in question. Selected breeding pairs of the affected lines were divided into four treatment groups: 1) transfer of embryos to pseudopregnant B6D2F1 female mice, 2) fostering offspring to B6D2F1 dams, 3) fostering offspring to a different dam of the same line, and 4) offspring raised by the birth dam. Embryo transfers were successful only in one affected line. At approximately 50 days of age, the offspring were tested for locomotor behavior after intraperitoneal administration of ethanol or normal saline. There were no statistically significant effects of embryo transfer on the ethanol phenotype (ethanol-induced locomotor depression). Fostering significantly reduced the stimulant response to ethanol of only one mouse line selectively bred for high sensitivity to ethanol-induced stimulation, although the stimulant response of the fostered groups was still quite robust. Overall, the results of this study showed that eradication efforts involving fostering of offspring have a modest impact on the stimulant response to ethanol, but there were insufficient data to draw conclusions regarding the use of embryo transfer.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Research and Development Service, Portland VA Medical Center, Portland, Oregon 2: Portland Alcohol Research Center and Department of Behavioral Neuroscience, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon 3: Research and Development Service, Portland VA Medical Center and Portland Alcohol Research Center and Department of Behavioral Neuroscience, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon

Publication date: December 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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