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  • 1.
    Alsiö, Johan
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Functional Pharmacology.
    Roman, Erika
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences.
    Olszewski, Pawel K.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Functional Pharmacology.
    Jonsson, Petra
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Functional Pharmacology.
    Fredriksson, Robert
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Functional Pharmacology.
    Levine, Allen S.
    Minnesota Obesity Center, VA Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN, USA.
    Meyerson, Bengt J.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Pharmacology.
    Hulting, Anna-Lena
    Department of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm.
    Lindblom, Jonas
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Functional Pharmacology.
    Schiöth, Helgi B.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Functional Pharmacology.
    Inverse association of high-fat diet preference and anxiety-like behavior: a putative role for urocortin 22009In: Genes, Brain and Behavior, ISSN 1601-1848, E-ISSN 1601-183X, Vol. 8, no 2, p. 193-202Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this study was to investigate whether the preference for a palatable high-fat diet (HFD) is associated with response to novelty and with anxiety-like behavior in rats and whether such fat preference correlates with gene expression of hypothalamic neuropeptides related to feeding. We subjected male rats to two tests of exploration of novel environments: the multivariate concentric square field (MCSF) and the elevated plus maze (EPM). The rats were then exposed to a 5-day test of preference for a palatable HFD versus reference diets. Messenger RNA (mRNA) levels of 21 neuropeptides were investigated by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. We found a strong positive correlation of HFD preference and open-arm activity in the EPM (% open-arm time, r(s) = 0.629, df = 26, P < 0.001). Thus, HFD preference was inversely associated with anxiety-like behavior. The same association was found for HFD preference and behavior in the MCSF (bridge entries, r(s) = 0.399, df = 23, P = 0.048). In addition, the HFD preference was positively correlated (r(s) = 0.433, df = 25, P = 0.021) with hypothalamic mRNA levels of urocortin 2 (Ucn 2). Moreover, behavior in the EPM was significantly correlated with expression levels of the receptor for Ucn 2, the corticotropin-releasing factor receptor 2, in the hypothalamus (r(s) = 0.382, df = 33, P = 0.022, pituitary (r(s) = 0.494, df = 31, P = 0.004) and amygdala (r(s) = 0.381, df = 30, P = 0.032). We conclude that preference for palatable HFD is inversely associated with anxiety and propose that Ucn 2 signaling may play a role in this association.

  • 2. Brunberg, E.
    et al.
    Jensen, P.
    Isaksson, Anders
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Cancer Pharmacology and Computational Medicine. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    Keeling, L. J.
    Brain gene expression differences are associated with abnormal tail biting behavior in pigs2013In: Genes, Brain and Behavior, ISSN 1601-1848, E-ISSN 1601-183X, Vol. 12, no 2, p. 275-281Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Knowledge about gene expression in animals involved in abnormal behaviors can contribute to the understanding of underlying biological mechanisms. This study aimed to explore the motivational background to tail biting, an abnormal injurious behavior and severe welfare problem in pig production. Affymetrix microarrays were used to investigate gene expression differences in the hypothalamus and prefrontal cortex of pigs performing tail biting, pigs receiving bites to the tail and neutral pigs who were not involved in the behavior. In the hypothalamus, 32 transcripts were differentially expressed (P<0.05) when tail biters were compared with neutral pigs, 130 when comparing receiver pigs with neutrals, and two when tail biters were compared with receivers. In the prefrontal cortex, seven transcripts were differently expressed in tail biters when compared with neutrals, seven in receivers vs. neutrals and none in the tail biters vs. receivers. In total, 19 genes showed a different expression pattern in neutral pigs when compared with both performers and receivers. This implies that the functions of these may provide knowledge about why the neutral pigs are not involved in tail biting behavior as performers or receivers. Among these 19 transcripts were genes associated with production traits in pigs (PDK4), sociality in humans and mice (GTF2I) and novelty seeking in humans (EGF). These are in line with hypotheses linking tail biting with reduced back fat thickness and explorative behavior.

  • 3.
    Brunberg, E.
    et al.
    Department of Animal Environment and Health, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Jensen, Per
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Zoology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Isaksson, A.
    Science for Life Laboratory, Department of Medical Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Keeling, L.J.
    Department of Animal Environment and Health, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Brain gene expression differences are associated with abnormal tail biting behavior in pigs2013In: Genes, Brain and Behavior, ISSN 1601-1848, E-ISSN 1601-183X, Vol. 12, no 2, p. 275-281Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Knowledge about gene expression in animals involved inabnormal behaviors can contribute to the understandingof underlying biological mechanisms. This study aimedto explore the motivational background to tail biting,an abnormal injurious behavior and severe welfareproblem in pig production. Affymetrix microarrayswere used to investigate gene expression differencesin the hypothalamus and prefrontal cortex of pigsperforming tail biting, pigs receiving bites to the tailand neutral pigs who were not involved in the behavior.In the hypothalamus, 32 transcripts were differentiallyexpressed (P <0.05) when tail biters were comparedwith neutral pigs, 130 when comparing receiver pigswith neutrals, and two when tail biters were comparedwith receivers. In the prefrontal cortex, seven transcriptswere differently expressed in tail biters when comparedwith neutrals, seven in receivers vs. neutrals and nonein the tail biters vs. receivers. In total, 19 genesshowed a different expression pattern in neutral pigswhen compared with both performers and receivers.This implies that the functions of these may provideknowledge about why the neutral pigs are not involvedin tail biting behavior as performers or receivers.Among these 19 transcripts were genes associated withproduction traits in pigs (PDK4), sociality in humansand mice (GTF2I ) and novelty seeking in humans (EGF ).These are in line with hypotheses linking tail biting withreduced back fat thickness and explorative behavior.

  • 4.
    Granseth, Björn
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Cell Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Andersson, Fredrik K
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Cell Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Lindström, Sarah H
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Cell Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    The initial stage of reversal learning is impaired in mice hemizygous for the vesicular glutamate transporter (VGluT1)2015In: Genes, Brain and Behavior, ISSN 1601-1848, E-ISSN 1601-183X, Vol. 14, no 6, p. 477-485Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Behavioral flexibility is a complex cognitive function that is necessary for survival in changeable environments. Patients with schizophrenia or Parkinsons disease often suffer from cognitive rigidity, reducing their capacity to function in society. Patients and rodent models with focal lesions in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) show similar rigidity, owing to the loss of PFC regulation of subcortical reward circuits involved in behavioral flexibility. The vesicular glutamate transporter (VGluT1) is preferentially expressed at modulatory synapses, including PFC neurons that project to components of the reward circuit (such as the nucleus accumbens, NAc). VGluT1(+/-) mice display behavioral phenotypes matching many symptoms of schizophrenia, and VGluT1 expression is reduced in the PFC of patients with schizophrenia and Parkinsons disease. Thus, it appears likely that VGluT1-expressing synapses from PFC play a key role in behavioral flexibility. To examine this hypothesis, we studied behavioral flexibility in VGluT1(+/-) mice by testing reversal learning in a visual discrimination task. Here, we show that VGluT1(+/-) mice acquired the initial visual discrimination at the same rate as controls. However, they failed to suppress responses to the previously rewarded stimulus following reversal of reward contingencies. Thus, our genetic disruption of modulatory glutamatergic signaling, including that arising from PFC, appears to have impaired the first stage of reversal learning (extinguishing responses to previously rewarded stimuli). Our data show that this deficit stems from a preservative phenotype. These findings suggest that glutamatergic regulation from the cortex is important for behavioral flexibility and the disruption of this pathway may be relevant in diseases such as schizophrenia.

  • 5.
    Heilig, Markus
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Local Health Care Services in Central Östergötland, Department of Psychiatry.
    Barbier, Estelle
    Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience.
    Johnstone, A. L.
    University of Miami, FL 33136 USA.
    Tapocik, J.
    Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
    Meinhardt, M. W.
    Heidelberg University, Germany.
    Pfarr, S.
    Heidelberg University, Germany.
    Wahlestedt, C.
    University of Miami, FL 33136 USA.
    Sommer, W. H.
    Heidelberg University, Germany.
    Reprogramming of mPFC transcriptome and function in alcohol dependence2017In: Genes, Brain and Behavior, ISSN 1601-1848, E-ISSN 1601-183X, Vol. 16, no 1, p. 86-100Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Despite its limited immediate reinforcement value, alcohol has a potent ability to induce neuroadaptations that promote its incentive salience, escalation of voluntary alcohol intake and aversion-resistant alcohol seeking. A constellation of these traits, collectively called post-dependent, emerges following brain exposure to repeated cycles of intoxication and withdrawal. The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and its subdivisions exert top-down regulation of approach and avoidance behaviors, including those that lead to alcohol intake. Here, we review an emerging literature which indicates that a reprogramming of mPFC function occurs with prolonged exposure of the brain to cycles of alcohol intoxication and withdrawal. This reprogramming results in molecular dysregulations that contribute to the post-dependent syndrome. Convergent evidence has identified neuroadaptations resulting in altered glutamatergic and BDNF-mediated signaling, and for these pathways, direct evidence for a mechanistic role has been obtained. Additional evidence points to a dysregulation of pathways involving calcium homeostasis and neurotransmitter release. Recent findings indicate that global DNA hypermethylation is a key factor in reprogramming the mPFC genome after a history of dependence. As one of the results of this epigenetic remodeling, several histone modifying epigenetic enzymes are repressed. Among these, PR-domain zinc-finger protein 2, a methyltransferase that selectively mono-methylates histone H3 at lysine 9 has been functionally validated to drive several of the molecular and behavioral long-term consequences of alcohol dependence. Information processing within the mPFC involves formation of dynamic neuronal networks, or functional ensembles that are shaped by transcriptional responses. The epigenetic dysregulations identified by our molecular studies are likely to alter this dynamic processing in multiple ways. In summary, epigenetic molecular switches in the mPFC appear to be turned on as alcoholism develops. Strategies to reverse these processes may offer targets for disease-modifying treatments.

  • 6.
    Jöngren, Markus
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Zoology . Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Westander, Jennie
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Zoology . Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Nätt, Daniel
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Zoology . Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Jensen, Per
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Zoology . Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Brain gene expression in relation to fearfulness in female red junglefowl (Gallus gallus)2010In: Genes, Brain and Behavior, ISSN 1601-1848, E-ISSN 1601-183X, Vol. 9, no 7, p. 751-758Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The biology of fear is central to animal welfare and hasbeen a major target for selection during domestication.Fear responses were studied in female red junglefowl(RJF), the ancestor of domesticated chickens. A totalof 31 females were tested in a ground predator test,an aerial predator test and a tonic immobility (TI)test, in order to assess their level of fearfulnessacross different situations. Two to six variables fromeach test were entered into a principal component(PC) analysis, which showed one major fearfulnesscomponent (explaining 27% of the variance). Based onthe PC scores, four high- and four low-fearful birds werethen selected for gene expression analysis. From eachof these birds, the midbrain region (including thalamus,hypothalamus, pituitary, mesencephalon, pons, nucleustractus solitarii and medulla oblongata), was collectedand global gene expression compared between groupsusing a 14k chicken cDNA microarray. There were 13significantly differentially expressed (DE) genes (basedonM > 1 andB > 0; FDR-adjusted P < 0.05) between thefearful and non-fearful females. Among the DE genes,we identified the neuroprotein Axin1, two potentialDNA/RNA regulating proteins and a retrotransposontranscript situated in a well-studied quantitative traitloci (QTL) region on chromosome 1, known to affectseveral domestication-related traits. The differentiallyexpressed genes may be part of a possible molecularmechanism controlling fear responses in fowl.

  • 7. Molero, Y
    et al.
    Gumpert, C
    Serlachius, E
    Lichtenstein, P
    Walum, H
    Johansson, D
    Anckarsäter, H
    Westberg, L
    Eriksson, E
    Halldner, L
    A study of the possible association between adenosine A2A receptor gene polymorphisms and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder traits.2013In: Genes, Brain and Behavior, ISSN 1601-1848, E-ISSN 1601-183X, Vol. 12, no 3, p. 305-10Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The adenosine A2A receptor (ADORA2A) is linked to the dopamine neurotransmitter system and is also implicated in the regulation of alertness, suggesting a potential association with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) traits. Furthermore, animal studies suggest that the ADORA2A may influence ADHD-like behavior. For that reason, the ADORA2A gene emerges as a promising candidate for studying the etiology of ADHD traits. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between ADORA2A gene polymorphisms and ADHD traits in a large population-based sample. This study was based on the Child and Adolescent Twin Study in Sweden (CATSS), and included 1747 twins. Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder traits were assessed through parental reports, and samples of DNA were collected. Associations between six single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and ADHD traits were examined, and results suggested a nominal association between ADHD traits and three of these SNPs: rs3761422, rs5751876 and rs35320474. For one of the SNPs, rs35320474, results remained significant after correction for multiple comparisons. These results indicate the possibility that the ADORA2A gene may be involved in ADHD traits. However, more studies replicating the present results are warranted before this association can be confirmed.

  • 8.
    Persson, Mia
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Roth, Lina
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Johnsson, Martin
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Wright, Dominic
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Jensen, Per
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Human-directed social behaviour in dogs shows significant heritability2015In: Genes, Brain and Behavior, ISSN 1601-1848, E-ISSN 1601-183X, Vol. 14, no 4, p. 337-344Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Through domestication and co-evolution with humans, dogs have developed abilities to attract human attention, e.g. in a manner of seeking assistance when faced with a problem solving task. The aims of this study were to investigate within breed variation in human-directed contact seeking in dogs and to estimate its genetic basis. To do this, 498 research beagles, bred and kept under standardized conditions, were tested in an unsolvable problem task. Contact seeking behaviours recorded included both eye contact and physical interactions. Behavioural data was summarized through a principal component analysis, resulting in four components: test interactions, social interactions, eye contact and physical contact. Females scored significantly higher on social interactions and physical contact and age had an effect on eye contact scores. Narrow sense heritabilities (h2) of the two largest components were estimated at 0.32 and 0.23 but were not significant for the last two components. These results show that within the studied dog population, behavioural variation in human-directed social behaviours was sex dependent and that the utilization of eye contact seeking increased with age and experience. Hence, heritability estimates indicate a significant genetic contribution to the variation found in human-directed social interactions, suggesting that social skills in dogs have a genetic basis, but can also be shaped and enhanced through individual experiences. This research gives the opportunity to further investigate the genetics behind dogs’ social skills, which could also play a significant part into research on human social disorders such as autism.

  • 9.
    Saetre, Peter
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Physiology and Developmental Biology, Animal Development and Genetics.
    Strandberg, E
    Sundgren, P-E
    Pettersson, Ulf
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Genetics and Pathology.
    Jazin, Elena
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Physiology and Developmental Biology, Animal Development and Genetics.
    Bergström, Tomas F
    The genetic contribution to canine personality.2006In: Genes, Brain and Behavior, ISSN 1601-1848, E-ISSN 1601-183X, Vol. 5, no 3, p. 240-8Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The domestic dog may be exceptionally well suited for behavioral genetic studies owing to its population history and the striking behavior differences among breeds. To explore to what extent and how behavioral traits are transmitted between generations, heritabilities and genetic correlations for behavioral traits were estimated in a cohort containing over 10,000 behaviorally tested German shepherd and Rottweiler dogs. In both breeds, the pattern of co-inheritance was found to be similar for the 16 examined behavioral traits. Furthermore, over 50% of the additive genetic variation of the behavioral traits could be explained by one underlying principal component, indicating a shared genetic component behind most of the examined behavioral traits. Only aggression appears to be inherited independently of the other traits. The results support a genetic basis for a broad personality trait previously named shyness-boldness dimension, and heritability was estimated to be 0.25 in the two breeds. Therefore, breeds of dogs appear to constitute a valuable resource for behavioral genetic research on the normal behavioral differences in broad personality traits.

  • 10.
    Sundman, Ann-Sofie
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Johnsson, Martin
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Wright, Dominic
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Jensen, Per
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Similar recent selection criteria associated with different behavioural effects in two dog breeds2016In: Genes, Brain and Behavior, ISSN 1601-1848, E-ISSN 1601-183X, Vol. 15, no 8, p. 750-756Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Selection during the last decades has split some established dog breeds into morphologically and behaviourally divergent types. These breed splits are interesting models for behaviour genetics since selection has often been for few and well-defined behavioural traits. The aim of this study was to explore behavioural differences between selection lines in golden and Labrador retriever, in both of which a split between a common type (pet and conformation) and a field type (hunting) has occurred. We hypothesized that the behavioural profiles of the types would be similar in both breeds. Pedigree data and results from a standardized behavioural test from 902 goldens (698 common and 204 field) and 1672 Labradors (1023 and 649) were analysed. Principal component analysis revealed six behavioural components: curiosity, play interest, chase proneness, social curiosity, social greeting and threat display. Breed and type affected all components, but interestingly there was an interaction between breed and type for most components. For example, in Labradors the common type had higher curiosity than the field type (F1,1668 = 18.359; P < 0.001), while the opposite was found in goldens (F1,897 = 65.201; P < 0.001). Heritability estimates showed considerable genetic contributions to the behavioural variations in both breeds, but different heritabilities between the types within breeds was also found, suggesting different selection pressures. In conclusion, in spite of similar genetic origin and similar recent selection criteria, types behave differently in the breeds. This suggests that the genetic architecture related to behaviour differs between the breeds.

  • 11. Våge, J.
    et al.
    Wade, C.
    Biagi, T.
    Fatjó, J.
    Amat, M.
    Lindblad-Toh, Kerstin
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology.
    Lingaas, F.
    Association of dopamine- and serotonin-related genes with canine aggression2010In: Genes, Brain and Behavior, ISSN 1601-1848, E-ISSN 1601-183X, Vol. 9, no 4, p. 372-378Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Human-directed canine aggression was studied using 50 aggressive and 81 non-aggressive dogs. We examined 62 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) occurring in or in the close vicinity of 16 neurotransmitter-related genes. Allelic associations with aggression were identified for DRD1, HTR1D, HTR2C and SLC6A1. Risk or protective haplotypes for aggressive behaviour based on 2-5 SNPs were identified. The frequency of aggressive dogs varied significantly between the haplotypes within loci and the odds ratios of aggression in dogs with risk haplotypes compared with protective haplotypes varied from 4.4 (HTR2C) to 9.0 (SLC6A1). A risk haplotype across the neurotransmitter receptor gene HTR1D harboured a non-synonymous SNP with a potential effect on protein function. We identified no haplotypes in complete association with the recorded phenotypes, supporting a complex inheritance of aggression.

  • 12.
    Wirén, Anders
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Zoology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Wright, Dominic
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Zoology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Jensen, Per
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Zoology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Domestication-related variation in social preferences in chickens is affected by genotype on a growth QTL2013In: Genes, Brain and Behavior, ISSN 1601-1848, E-ISSN 1601-183X, Vol. 12, no 3, p. 330-337Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A growth-related QTL on chicken chromosome 1 has previously been shown to influence domestication behaviour in chickens. In this study, we used Red Junglefowl (RJF) and White Leghorn (WL) as well as the intercross between them to investigate whether stress affects the way birds allocate their time between familiar and unfamiliar conspecifics in a social preference test (‘social support seeking’), and how this is related to genotype at specific loci within the growth QTL. Red Junglefowl males spent more time with unfamiliar chickens before the stressful event compared to the other birds, whereas all birds except WL males tended to spend less time with unfamiliar ones after stress. A significant QTL locus was found to influence both social preference under undisturbed circumstances and social support seeking. The WL allele at this QTL was associated not only with a preference for unfamiliar individuals but also with a shift towards familiar ones in response to stress (social support seeking). A second, suggestive QTL also affected social support seeking, but in the opposite direction; the WL allele was associated with increased time spent with unfamiliar individuals. The region contains several possible candidate genes, and gene expression analysis of a number of them showed differential expression between RJF and WL of AVPR2 (receptor for vasotocin), and possibly AVPR1a (another vasotocin receptor) and NRCAM (involved in neural development) in the lower frontal lobes of the brains of RJF and WL animals. These three genes continue to be interesting candidates for the observed behavioural effects.

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