Fighting in the home cage: Agonistic encounters and effects on neurobiological markers within the social decision-making network of house mice (Mus musculus)

Gian D. Greenberg, Chris L. Howerton, Brian C. Trainor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Inbred strains of mice, such as C57Bl/6, have become preferred animal models for neurobehavioral studies. A main goal in creating inbred lines is to reduce the effects of individual genetic variation on observed phenotypes. Most studies use only males, and there is increasing evidence that agonistic interactions within the home cage may produce systematic variability in behavior and brain function. Previous studies have demonstrated that the outcomes of aggressive interactions have powerful effects on the brain and behavior, but less is known about whether aggressive interactions within the home cage have similar effects. We assessed group-housed laboratory mice C57Bl/6 for competitive ability and then tested the extent high competitive ability (CA) or low CA was related to gene and protein expression within related pathways. We focused on a broad social behavior network, including the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST). High CA mice had significantly more corticotropin releasing hormone receptor 2 (CRHR2) and estrogen receptor alpha (ESR1) mRNA in the BNST. Our data suggest a simple test of CA could yield valuable information that could be used to reduce error variance and increase power in neurobiological studies using mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-155
Number of pages5
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Volume566
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 30 2014

Fingerprint

Aptitude
Decision Making
Septal Nuclei
Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone Receptors
Inbred Strains Mice
Estrogen Receptor alpha
Social Behavior
Nucleus Accumbens
Brain
Social Support
Animal Models
Phenotype
Gene Expression
Messenger RNA
Proteins

Keywords

  • Aggression
  • Androgen receptor
  • Bed nucleus of stria terminalis
  • Estrogen receptor
  • Nucleus accumbens
  • Tube test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Fighting in the home cage : Agonistic encounters and effects on neurobiological markers within the social decision-making network of house mice (Mus musculus). / Greenberg, Gian D.; Howerton, Chris L.; Trainor, Brian C.

In: Neuroscience Letters, Vol. 566, 30.04.2014, p. 151-155.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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