Letting a Typical Mouse Judge Whether Mouse Social Interactions Are Atypical

Authors

  • Charisma R. Shah,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
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  • Carl Gunnar Forsberg,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
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  • Jing-Qiong Kang,

    1. Department of Neurology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
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  • Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele

    Corresponding author
    1. Departments of Pediatrics and Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
    2. Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorder, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
    3. Vanderbilt Brain Institute, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
    • Department of Psychiatry, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
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Errata

This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: Letting a Typical Mouse Judge whether Mouse Social Interactions Are Atypical Volume 8, Issue 1, 120, Article first published online: 19 December 2014

  • Grant sponsor: NIMH; Grant number MH81066.
  • Conflicts of Interest: The authors have no direct competing financial interests. JV has acted as a paid consultant to Novartis has received research funding for nonoverlapping work from Seaside Therapeutics, Roche Pharmaceuticals, Novartis, and Forest.

Address for correspondence and reprints: Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele, 7158 Medical Research Building III, 465 21st Ave S, Nashville, TN, 37232-8548. E-mail: j.vvw@vanderbilt.edu

Abstract

Diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) requires a qualitative assessment of social aptitude: one person judging whether another person interacts in a “typical” way. We hypothesized that mice could be used to make a similar judgment if they prefer “typical” over “atypical” social interactions with mouse models relevant to ASD. We used wild-type C57BL/6 (B6) mice as “judges” and evaluated their preference for a chamber containing a “typical” (B6 or 129S6) or an “atypical” mouse. For our atypical mouse stimuli, we chose two inbred strains with well-documented social phenotypes (BTBR and BALB/c), as well a mutant line with abnormal social behavior and seizures (Gabrb3 +/−). Overall, we observed a stimulus by time interaction (P < 0.0001), with B6 mice preferring the typical mouse chamber during the last 10 min of the 30-min test. For two of the individual stimulus pairings, we observed a similar chamber by time interaction (BALB/c vs. 129S6, P = 0.0007; Gabrb3 +/− vs. 129S6, P = 0.033). For the third stimulus pairing, we found a trend for preference of the typical mouse across time (BTBR vs. B6, P = 0.051). We repeated the experiments using 129S6 mice as judges and found a significant overall interaction (P = 0.034), but only one stimulus pairing reached significance on its own (BALB/c vs. 129S6, P = 0.0021). These data suggest that a characteristic pattern of exploration in B6 mice can distinguish some socially atypical animals from controls. Autism Res 2013, 6: 212–220. © 2013 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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