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Practical and theoretical issues in gene-targeting studies and their application to behaviour.


Hagan, J.J., Harper, A.J., Elliott, H., Jones, D.N.C. and Rogers, D.C.

Reviews in the Neurosciences, 11(1), 3-13 (2000).

Some of the major practical and theoretical issues that are associated with gene-targeting studies in mice are discussed. The availability of sufficient space to house the extensive breeding colonies associated with studies in gene-manipulated mice is an important logistical consideration that requires consideration at an early stage. A practical example is discussed which illustrates some of these issues. Problems associated with disease control and methods of maintaining the health status of valuable colonies are also outlined. Differences in the behavioural phenotype of inbred mouse strains pose important issues for study design and selection of host mouse lines. The results from studies exploring variations in the behavioural phenotype of six common inbred strains are briefly outlined. The impact of phenotypic variation on behavioural studies is considered and the implications for experimental design are discussed.