Identification of quantitative trait loci for locomotor activation and anxiety using closely related inbred strains

Genes Brain Behav. 2008 Oct;7(7):761-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1601-183x.2008.00415.x.


We carried out a quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping experiment in two phenotypically similar inbred mouse strains, C57BL/6J and C58/J, using the open-field assay, a well-established model of anxiety-related behavior in rodents. This intercross was initially carried out as a control cross for an ethylnitrosurea mutagenesis mapping study. Surprisingly, although open-field behavior is similar in the two strains, we identified significant QTL in their F2 progeny. Marker regression identified a locus on Chr 8 having associations with multiple open-field measures and a significant interaction between loci on Chr 13 and 17. Together, the Chr 8 locus and the interaction effect form the core set of QTL controlling these behaviors with additional loci on Chr 1 and 6 present in a subset of the behaviors.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anxiety / genetics*
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Ethylnitrosourea
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Motor Activity / genetics*
  • Mutagens
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Regression Analysis


  • Mutagens
  • Ethylnitrosourea