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Keywords:

  • tryptophan hydroxylase-2;
  • C1473G polymorphism;
  • mouse;
  • intermale aggression;
  • forced swim;
  • open field

Abstract

Tryptophan hydroxylase-2 (TPH2) is the rate-limiting enzyme of brain serotonin synthesis. The C1473G polymorphism in the mouse tryptophan hydroxylase-2 gene affects the enzyme's activity. In the present study, we investigated the linkage between the C1473G polymorphism, enzyme activity in the brain, and behavior in the forced swim, intermale aggression, and open field tests using mice of the C57BL/6 (C/C) and CC57BR/Mv (G/G) strains and the B6-1473C (C/C) and B6-1473G (G/G) lines created by three successive backcrossings on C57BL/6. Mice of the CC57BR/Mv strain had decreased brain enzyme activity, aggression intensity, and immobility in the forced swim test, but increased locomotor activity and time spent in the central part of the open field arena compared with animals of the C57BL/6 strain. Mice of the B6-1473G line homozygous for the 1473G allele had lower TPH2 activity in the brain, aggression intensity, and immobility time in the forced swim test compared with animals of the B6-1473C line homozygous for the 1473C allele. No differences were found between the B6-1473G and B6-1473C mice in locomotor activity and time spent in the central part of the arena in the open field test. Thus, the C1473G polymorphism is involved in the determination of TPH2 activity and is linked to aggression intensity and forced-swim immobility in mice. At the same time, the polymorphism does not affect locomotion and anxiety-related behavior in the open field test. The B6-1473C and B6-1473G mice represent a valuable experimental model for investigating molecular mechanisms of serotonin-related behavior. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.