Genetic mapping of escalated aggression in wild-derived mouse strain MSM/Ms: association with serotonin-related genesAki Takahashi, Toshihiko Shiroishi, Tsuyoshi Koide Frontiers in Neuroscience Front. Neurosci., 11 June 2014; doi:10.3389/fnins.2014.00156
The Japanese wild-derived mouse strain MSM/Ms (MSM) retains a wide range of traits related to behavioral wildness, including high levels of emotionality and avoidance of humans. In this study, we observed that MSM showed a markedly higher level of aggression than the standard laboratory strain C57BL/6J. We identified two chromosomes, Chr 4 and Chr 15, which were involved in the heightened aggression observed in MSM. These chromosomes had different effects on aggression: whereas MSM Chr 15 increased agitation and initiation of aggressive events, MSM Chr 4 induced a maladaptive level of aggressive behavior. Expression analysis of mRNAs of serotonin related genes indicated that the expression of Tph2, an enzyme involved in serotonin synthesis, in the midbrain was increased in the Chr 4 consomic strain, as well as in MSM, and that there was a strong positive genetic correlation between aggressive behavior and Tph2 expression at the mRNA level.
Genetic mapping of escalated aggression in MSM by using consomic mouse strains