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Family and twin studies have revealed that genetic factors play a major role in psychiatric disorders, however, attempts to find susceptibility genes for these complex disorders have been largely unsuccessful. Therefore, new research strategies are required to tackle the complex interactions of genes, developmental, and environmental events. Here, we will(More)
In young, typically developing children, repetitive behavior similar to that in certain neuropsychiatric syndromes is common. Whereas this behavior is adaptive in typical development, in many disorders it forms a core component of symptoms and causes prominent impairment in the daily life of affected individuals. Understanding the neurobiological mechanisms(More)
We have previously suggested that during or prior to activation of anticipatory behaviour to a coming reward, mu-opioid receptors are activated. To test this hypothesis schedule induced food-anticipatory activity in mu-opioid receptor knockout mice was measured using running wheels. We hypothesized that mu-knockout mice show little food-anticipatory(More)
Mutations in the human melanocortin (MC)4 receptor have been associated with obesity, which underscores the relevance of this receptor as a drug target to treat obesity. Infusion of MC4R agonists decreases food intake, whereas inhibition of MC receptor activity by infusion of an MC receptor antagonist or with the inverse agonist AgRP results in increased(More)
Increased physical activity and decreased motivation to eat are common features in anorexia nervosa. We investigated the development of these features and the potential implication of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and dopaminergic signalling in their development in C57BL/6J and A/J inbred mice, using the 'activity-based anorexia' model. In this(More)
Deficiency of the meso-diencephalic dopamine (mdDA) neuron specific transcription factor Pitx3 in aphakia (ak) mice results in the loss of the substantia nigra compacta (SNc). Concomitantly, reduced spontaneous locomotor behavior, symptoms reminiscent to those in Parkinson's disease, has been reported. However, the ak mouse line originates from the 1960s(More)
Here we present a newly developed tool for continuous recordings and analysis of novelty-induced and baseline behaviour of mice in a home cage-like environment. Aim of this study was to demonstrate the strength of this method by characterizing four inbred strains of mice, C57BL/6, DBA/2, C3H and 129S2/Sv, on locomotor activity. Strains differed in circadian(More)
Current approaches to dissect the molecular neurobiology of complex neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and major depression have been rightly criticized for failing to provide benefits to patients. Improving the translational potential of our efforts will require the development and refinement of better disease models that consider a wide(More)
Activity-based anorexia (ABA) is considered an animal model of anorexia nervosa. In ABA, scheduled feeding in combination with voluntary wheel running leads to hyperactivity, reduced food intake, severe body weight loss and hypothermia. In this study it was investigated whether hyperactivity in ABA could be reduced by introducing a warm plate (which was(More)
Interspecies genetic analysis of neurobehavioral traits is critical for identifying neurobiological mechanisms underlying psychiatric disorders, and for developing models for translational research. Recently, after screening a chromosome substitution strain panel in an automated home cage environment, chromosomes 15 and 19 were identified in female mice for(More)