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01-06-2013 | Brief Report | Uitgave 6/2013

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 6/2013

Brief Report: Altered Social Behavior in Isolation-Reared Fmr1 Knockout Mice

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders > Uitgave 6/2013
Andrew M. Heitzer, Alexandra K. Roth, Lauren Nawrocki, Craige C. Wrenn, Maria G. Valdovinos


Social behavior abnormalities in Fragile X syndrome (FXS) are characterized by social withdrawal, anxiety, and deficits in social cognition. To assess these deficits, a model of FXS, the Fmr1 knockout mouse (Fmr1 KO), has been utilized. This mouse model has a null mutation in the fragile X mental retardation 1 gene (Fmr1) and displays physical and behavioral characteristics similar to humans with FXS. Several studies have investigated the social behavior of this model, but the results on the behavioral phenotype have not been consistent. In order to further characterize the social behavior in the knockout, isolation-reared Fmr1 KO were evaluated to determine if they differ in their social behavior compared to wild-type littermate controls. Differences by genotype were not observed in social approach behavior; however, the knockout mice showed a significantly reduced preference for social novelty and decreased sniff time in the sociability phase. These findings add to the growing body of knowledge on the subtle differences in social behavior shown by the Fmr1 knockout mice, and that differences occur when the subjects are isolation-reared. Validity of the model and possible changes to methodology are discussed.

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