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Behav Brain Res. 1999 Nov 15;105(2):207-17.

Use of SHIRPA and discriminant analysis to characterise marked differences in the behavioural phenotype of six inbred mouse strains.

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  • 1Neuroscience Research, SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals, Harlow, UK.


Detailed characterisation of six inbred strains of mice commonly used in transgenic and knockout research was carried out using a battery of behavioural tests (SHIRPA) followed by discriminant analysis of the data. In the primary observation screen, DBA/2 mice were relatively irritable and vocalised during handling. C57BL/6 were hyperactive as measured by transfer arousal, arena activity and touch-escape tests. By contrast, C3H were markedly hypoactive, had significantly enhanced grip strength and were also significantly impaired on the visual placing task. In the elevated plus-maze, BALB/c mice showed the highest level of open arm entries and time spent in the open arms, indicating the lowest level of anxiety. There was a clear dissociation of strains on exploratory activity, as measured in the holeboard test and spontaneous locomotor activity (LMA). DBA/2 mice were hyperactive in LMA but demonstrated relatively low levels of holeboard exploration. None of the six strains learnt the water maze spatial learning task particularly well. C57BL/6 and 129/Sv demonstrated most ability and C3H showed no evidence of having acquired the task. The SHIRPA screening battery and discriminant analysis of the data have enabled us to determine the relevant contribution of a number of behavioural measurements to the marked differences in phenotype of mouse strains. These data confirm the importance of carrying out a comprehensive profile in order to accurately characterise the phenotype of gene-targeted and transgenic mice.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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