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PLoS One. 2013 Aug 13;8(8):e72125. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0072125. eCollection 2013.

Sexually dimorphic, developmental, and chronobiological behavioral profiles of a mouse mania model.

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Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.


Bipolar disorders are heritable psychiatric conditions often abstracted by separate animal models for mania and depression. The principal mania models involve transgenic manipulations or treatment with stimulants. An additional approach involves analysis of naturally occurring mania models including an inbred strain our lab has recently characterized, the Madison (MSN) mouse strain. These mice show a suite of behavioral and neural genetic alterations analogous to manic aspects of bipolar disorders. In the current study, we extended the MSN strain's behavioral phenotype in new directions by examining in-cage locomotor activity. We found that MSN activity presentation is sexually dimorphic, with MSN females showing higher in-cage activity than MSN males. When investigating development, we found that MSN mice display stable locomotor hyperactivity already observable when first assayed at 28 days postnatal. Using continuous monitoring and analysis for 1 month, we did not find evidence of spontaneous bipolarism in MSN mice. However, we did find that the MSN strain displayed an altered diurnal activity profile, getting up earlier and going to sleep earlier than control mice. Long photoperiods were associated with increased in-cage activity in MSN, but not in the control strain. The results of these experiments reinforce the face validity of the MSN strain as a complex mania model, adding sexual dimorphism, an altered diurnal activity profile, and seasonality to the suite of interesting dispositional phenomena related to mania seen in MSN mice.

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