Aggressive behavior in transgenic animal models: A systematic review

Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2018 Aug;91:198-217. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2017.09.028. Epub 2018 May 31.

Abstract

Aggressive behavior is often core or comorbid to psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. Transgenic animal models are commonly used to study the neurobiological mechanisms underlying aggressive phenotypes and have led to new insights into aggression. This systematic review critically evaluates the available literature on transgenic animal models tested for aggression with the resident-intruder test. By combining the available literature on this topic, we sought to highlight effective methods for laboratory aggression testing and provide recommendations for study design as well as aggression induction and measurement in rodents that are translational to humans, taking into consideration possible confounding factors. In addition, we built a molecular landscape of interactions between the proteins encoded by the aggression-linked genes from our systematic search. Some molecular pathways within this landscape overlap with psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders and the landscapes point towards a number of putative (drug) targets for aggression that need to be validated in future studies.

Keywords: Aggression; Animals; Behavior; Drug targets; Genes; MAOA; Molecular landscape; Oxytocin; Preclinical models; Resident intruder; Serotonin; Systematic review.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Aggression / psychology*
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified / psychology*
  • Models, Animal*
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy / methods