Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-5cfd469876-tkzrn Total loading time: 0.211 Render date: 2021-06-24T00:52:00.705Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true }

Dissecting the behaviour of transgenic mice: is it the mutation, the genetic background, or the environment?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 January 2001

David P. Wolfer
Affiliation:
Institute of Anatomy, University of Zurich, 190 Winterthurerstrasse, Zurich, CH-8057, Switzerland
Hans-Peter Lipp
Affiliation:
Institute of Anatomy, University of Zurich, 190 Winterthurerstrasse, Zurich, CH-8057, Switzerland
Get access

Abstract

Increasingly sophisticated and precise molecular genetic tools are applied to mice in order to study the cellular mechanisms underlying higher brain functions, including learning and memory. However, several studies have produced unclear or conflicting results. One reason for this is that performance in the behavioural tests used to assess learning and memory is influenced by various non-cognitive phenomena and can thus easily be affected by mutations through mechanisms unrelated to memory function. We conducted principal component analysis on data from 3003 mice tested using a standardized protocol to demonstrate this for the Morris swimming navigation test, one of the most widely used paradigms to assess memory and hippocampal function. In addition, we present a meta-analysis showing that genetic background and environment alone produce sufficient variation to span the range of most, if not all, behavioural variables and can thus easily mask or fake mutation effects if genetic studies are not designed properly. We suggest that the chance of obtaining useful results is maximized if behavioural deficits are differentiated by combining complementary behavioural protocols and by analysing multiple complementary parameters in each of them. Mutation effects must be contrasted statistically against the influences of genetic background and environment. In many situations, this is most efficiently achieved if (i) mutations are backcrossed to and maintained in one or (preferably) two well-characterized, commonly available inbred strains and (ii) if mutant and wild-type littermates are analysed on a hybrid or mixed genetic background, that is in F1 or F2 generations derived from the inbred stocks

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© The Physiological Society 2000

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below.

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Dissecting the behaviour of transgenic mice: is it the mutation, the genetic background, or the environment?
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Dissecting the behaviour of transgenic mice: is it the mutation, the genetic background, or the environment?
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Dissecting the behaviour of transgenic mice: is it the mutation, the genetic background, or the environment?
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *