Differential effects of age on motor performance in two mouse strains

Neurobiol Aging. 1981 Fall;2(3):221-7. doi: 10.1016/0197-4580(81)90025-7.


The performance of male A/J and C57BL/6J mice from three age groups (4, 18, and 24 months) was observed in a battery of tests designed to assess age-related impairments in motor abilities. A/J mice were superior to C57BL/6J mice in tasks requiring upper body strength, such as tests of grip strength and tightrope performance. C57BL/6J mice were superior performers in tasks requiring balance and coordination, such as movement on stationary and rotating rods. In addition, the C57BL/6J strain generally exhibited greater locomotor activity, such as measured in open field and wheel-running tests. Significant age-related deficits were observe among A/J mice in tests of grip strength, balance rod, rotorod, and wheel activity; and among C57BL/6J mice, in balance, rod, tightrope, exploratory activity, and wheel activity tests. Except for scores of exploratory activity (free versus forced exploration), the test measures tended to be uncorrelated; however, the degree and magnitude of intercorrelation among test scores increased with age. The results underscore the need to consider genotype in the assessment of age-related motor impairments in animal models.

MeSH terms

  • Aging*
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Exploratory Behavior / physiology
  • Genotype
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred A
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Motor Activity / physiology*