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Genes Brain Behav. 2008 Nov;7(8):849-58. doi: 10.1111/j.1601-183X.2008.00419.x. Epub 2008 Jul 28.

Systematic analysis of emotionality in consomic mouse strains established from C57BL/6J and wild-derived MSM/Ms.

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Mouse Genomics Resource Laboratory, National Institute of Genetics, Mishima, Shizuoka, Japan.


Consomic strains have recently attracted attention as an advantageous method to screen for genes related to developmental, physiological, and behavioral phenotypes. Recently, a new set of consomic strains was established from the Japanese wild-derived mouse strain MSM/Ms and C57BL/6JJcl. By analyzing the entire consomic panel, we were able to identify a number of chromosomes associated with anxiety-like behaviors in the open-field (OF) test, a light-dark box and an elevated plus maze. Detailed observation of the OF behavior allowed us to identify chromosomes associated with those ethological traits, such as stretch attend, rearing, and jumping. Repeated OF test trials have different meanings for animals, and we found that some chromosomes responded to only the first or second trial, while others were consistent across both trials. By examining both male and female mice, sex-dependent effects were found in several measurements. Principal component analysis of anxiety-like behaviors extracted five factors: 'general locomotor activity', 'thigmotaxis', 'risk assessment', 'open-arm exploration' and 'autonomic emotionality'. We mapped chromosomes associated with these five factors of emotionality.

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