Behavioral differences among 129 substrains: Implications for knockout and transgenic mice


Most knockout (KO) mice are produced with embryonic stem cells derived from a 129 strain. Because most KO strains are backcrossed to B6 yet retain a portion of their genome from 129, especially around the ablated target locus, phenotypes previously attributed to the ablated locus may be due to passenger 129 genes. Thus, the authors decided to test several 129 substrains for their behavioral characteristics. Seven 129 substrains were put through a battery of tasks to determine their behavioral profiles. Differences were found in anxiety-related behaviors in the zero-maze, habituation to the open field, and cued fear conditioning. All strains successfully performed the rotorod task. The behavioral differences observed may have important implications for the interpretation of data and show divergence of behavioral performance in these 129 substrains.

Publication Title

Behavioral Neuroscience