Rowe Researcher: Social Interaction and Anxiety in Mice

Ashley Bonet with her research poster.
Ashley Bonet with her research poster.

Spring 2012: Social Interaction and Anxiety in Mutant BXD29 Mice

By A.C.Bonet1 , D.T.Truong2 , R.H. Fitch, PhD1

            The purpose of this research was to observe anxiety and social interaction in the BXD29 mice strain. BXD29/Ty -wild type and BXD29-Tlr4lps-2J/J -mutant mice have never been tested for social interaction or anxiety related behaviors, thus this research offers a preliminary observation of the behaviors. The BXD29-Tlr4lps-2J/J mice have subcortical heterotopias formed by neurons destined for layers 2-4 of the neocortex as well as partial callosal agenesis. Malformations of this nature disrupt neurons and connectivity patterns in the brain and have been linked to a spectrum of psychiatric and neurological disorders. Hence, sociability, anxiety, and anxiety induced sociability tasks were developed to examine the affects of the brain malformations, if any, on behavior and the implications of the outcomes for further research on the BXD29 strain. Although tests revealed that both the BXD29/Ty and the BXD29-Tlr4lps-2J/J mice showed no significant difference in sociability, both the BXD29/Ty and the BXD29-Tlr4lps-2J/J showed normal anxiety behaviors. The anxiety induced sociability task for both groups of mice also revealed no significant difference. This research shows that the BXD29 mice are remarkably normal in social and anxiety behaviors and offers insights for further research.

1,2 Dept. of Psychology, BNS Division; Univ. of CT, Storrs, CT 06269-4154