Quantitative trait loci affecting methamphetamine responses in BXD recombinant inbred mouse strains

Judith E. Grisel, John K. Belknap, L. A. O'Toole, M. L. Helms, Charlotte D. Wenger, John C. Crabbe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Individual differences in most behavioral and pharmacological responses to abused drugs are dependent on both genetic and environmental factors. The genetic influences on the complex phenotypes related to drug abuse have been difficult to study using classical genetic analyses. Quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping is a method that has been used successfully to examine genetic contributions to some of these traits by correlating allelic variation in polymorphic genetic markers of known chromosomal location with variation in drug-response phenotypes. We evaluated several behavioral responses to multiple doses of methamphetamine (METH) in C57BL/6J (B6), DBA/2J (D2), and 25 of their recombinant inbred (BXD RI) strains. Stereotyped chewing, horizontal home cage activity, and changes in body temperature after 0, 4, 8, or 16 mg/kg METH, as well as stereotyped climbing behavior after 16 mg/kg METH, were examined. Associations (p < 0.01) between METH sensitivity and allelic status at multiple microsatellite genetic markers were subsequently determined for each response. QTLs were provisionally identified for each phenotype, some unique to a particular behavior and others that appeared to influence multiple phenotypes. Candidate genes suggested by these analyses included several that mapped near genes relevant for the neurotransmitters acetylcholine and glutamate. The locations of QTLs provisionally identified by this analysis were compared with QTLs hypothesized in other studies to influence methamphetamine- and cocaine-related phenotypes. In several instances, QTLs appeared to overlap, which is consistent with idea that common neural substrates underlie some responses to psychostimulants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)745-754
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • QTL
  • body temperature pharmacogenetics
  • gene mapping
  • locomotor activity
  • methamphetamine
  • mouse
  • quantitative trait locus
  • recombinant inbred strain
  • stereotypy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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