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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effects of the rd1 mutation and host strain on hippocampal learning in mice.

Many of the inbred mouse strains commonly used in biomedical research are homozygous for the rd1 mutation of the Pde6b gene, which causes retinal degeneration. To dissociate the behavioural effects of rd1 homozygosity from those of the genetic background of the host strain in the most widely used paradigms for evaluating the cognitive abilities of mice, two rd1 homozygous strains (C3H/HeJ and CBA/J) were compared with two Pde6b wild-type strains, each possessing a genetic background identical (C3A.BLiA-Pde6b+/J) or very similar (CBA/CaJ) to that of its rd1 homozygous relative. In the fear conditioning procedure, the presence of the rd1 mutation had no effect on performance at any stage, as the superior contextual learning of the CBA/J and CBA/CaJ strains could be explained by genetic background effects alone. In the Morris water maze, only the Pde6b wild-type C3A.BLiA-Pde6b+/J and CBA/CaJ strains were able to demonstrate spatial learning. The study thus demonstrates how retinal degeneration and genetic background have different effects in these two tests of hippocampus-dependent learning and memory.[1]


  1. Effects of the rd1 mutation and host strain on hippocampal learning in mice. Clapcote, S.J., Lazar, N.L., Bechard, A.R., Roder, J.C. Behav. Genet. (2005) [Pubmed]
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