Mice age - Does the age of the mother predict offspring behaviour?

  • Lerch S
  • Brandwein C
  • Dormann C
 et al. 
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Increasing paternal age is known to be associated with a great variety of psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia or autism. Hence the factor "age" may be taken as strategic tool to analyse specific scientific hypotheses. Additionally, this finding also needs to be addressed in rather pragmatically performed breeding protocols of model organisms, since otherwise artefacts may challenge the validity of the results.Our study was performed to investigate influences of advanced age of mouse dams (30 vs. 16. weeks) on maternal- and offspring behaviour. Adult offspring of both sexes was analysed in a test battery comprising paradigms for exploration, anxiety and depressive-like behaviours. Final blood sampling was conducted for stressphysiological analysis.Interestingly, advanced age of the mothers was associated with increased nest-building quality while maternal activity was unaffected. Moreover "maternal (mice) age" (MA) affected emotionality in the offspring, which became apparent in the dark-light box and the social recognition paradigm.These findings not only emphasize MA to model a potent risk factor with regard to emotional stability, but also underscore the vast necessity to include information about breeding protocols into the methods section of any animal study.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Age
  • Emotionality
  • Maternal environment
  • Mice
  • Sociality

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  • Sandra Lerch

  • Christiane Brandwein

  • Christof Dormann

  • Sabine Chourbaji

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