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Advances in rodent behavior dissection using automated video recording and analysis allows detailed phenotyping. This study compared and contrasted 15 diurnal behaviors recorded continuously using an automated behavioral analysis system for a period of 14 days under a 14/10 light/dark cycle in single housed C3H/HeN (C3H) or C57BL/6 (C57) male mice. Diurnal behaviors, recorded with minimal experimental interference and analyzed using phenotypic array and temporal distribution analysis showed bimodal and unimodal profiles in the C57 and C3H mice, respectively. Phenotypic array analysis revealed distinct behavioral rhythms in Activity-Like Behaviors (i.e. walk, hang, jump, come down) (ALB), Exploration-Like Behaviors (i.e. dig, groom, rear up, sniff, stretch) (ELB), Ingestion-Like Behaviors (i.e. drink, eat) (ILB) and Resting-Like Behaviors (i.e. awake, remain low, rest, twitch) (RLB) of C3H and C57 mice. Temporal distribution analysis demonstrated that strain and time of day affects the magnitude and distribution of the spontaneous homecage behaviors. Wheel running activity, water and food measurements correlated with timing of homecage behaviors. Subcutaneous (3 mg/kg, sc) or oral (0.02 mg/ml, oral) melatonin treatments in C57 mice did not modify either the total 24 h magnitude or temporal distribution of homecage behaviors when compared with vehicle treatments. We conclude that C3H and C57 mice show different spontaneous activity and behavioral rhythms specifically during the night period which are not modulated by melatonin. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


E B Adamah-Biassi, I Stepien, R L Hudson, M L Dubocovich. Automated video analysis system reveals distinct diurnal behaviors in C57BL/6 and C3H/HeN mice. Behavioural brain research. 2013 Apr 15;243:306-12

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PMID: 23337734

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