• Open Access

High-throughput behavioral phenotyping in the expanded panel of BXD recombinant inbred strains


*E. J. Chesler, The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor ME, 04609, USA. E-mail:Elissa.Chesler@jax.org


Genetic reference populations, particularly the BXD recombinant inbred (BXD RI) strains derived from C57BL/6J and DBA/2J mice, are a valuable resource for the discovery of the bio-molecular substrates and genetic drivers responsible for trait variation and covariation. This approach can be profitably applied in the analysis of susceptibility and mechanisms of drug and alcohol use disorders for which many predisposing behaviors may predict the occurrence and manifestation of increased preference for these substances. Many of these traits are modeled by common mouse behavioral assays, facilitating the detection of patterns and sources of genetic coregulation of predisposing phenotypes and substance consumption. Members of the Tennessee Mouse Genome Consortium (TMGC) have obtained phenotype data from over 250 measures related to multiple behavioral assays across several batteries: response to, and withdrawal from cocaine, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine; “ecstasy” (MDMA), morphine and alcohol; novelty seeking; behavioral despair and related neurological phenomena; pain sensitivity; stress sensitivity; anxiety; hyperactivity and sleep/wake cycles. All traits have been measured in both sexes in approximately 70 strains of the recently expanded panel of BXD RI strains. Sex differences and heritability estimates were obtained for each trait, and a comparison of early (N = 32) and recent (N = 37) BXD RI lines was performed. Primary data are publicly available for heritability, sex difference and genetic analyses using the MouseTrack database, and are also available in GeneNetwork.org for quantitative trait locus (QTL) detection and genetic analysis of gene expression. Together with the results of related studies, these data form a public resource for integrative systems genetic analysis of neurobehavioral traits.