Neurobehavioral mutants identified in an ENU-mutagenesis project


We report on a battery of behavioral screening tests that successfully identified several neurobehavioral mutants among a large-scale ENU-mutagenized mouse population. Large numbers of ENU-mutagenized mice were screened for abnormalities in central nervous system function based on abnormal performance in a series of behavior tasks. We developed and used a high-throughput screen of behavioral tasks to detect behavioral outliers. Twelve mutant pedigrees, representing a broad range of behavioral phenotypes, have been identified. Specifically, we have identified two open-field mutants (one displaying hyperlocomotion, the other hypolocomotion), four tail-suspension mutants (all displaying increased immobility), one nociception mutant (displaying abnormal responsiveness to thermal pain), two prepulse inhibition mutants (displaying poor inhibition of the startle response), one anxiety-related mutant (displaying decreased anxiety in the light/dark test), and one learning-and-memory mutant (displaying reduced response to the conditioned stimulus). These findings highlight the utility of a set of behavioral tasks used in a high-throughput screen to identify neurobehavioral mutants. Further analysis (i.e., behavioral and genetic mapping studies) of mutants is in progress with the ultimate goal of identification of novel genes and mouse models relevant to human disorders as well as the identification of novel therapeutic targets. © 2007 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Publication Title

Mammalian Genome