Abolition and Reversal of Strain Differences in Behavioral Responses to Drugs of Abuse After a Brief Experience

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Science  21 Jul 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5478, pp. 463-465
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5478.463

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Inbred strains of mice are largely used to identify the genetic basis of normal and pathological behaviors. This report demonstrates that a moderate period of food shortage, an ecologically common experience, can reverse or abolish strain differences in behavioral responses to the abused psychostimulant amphetamine. The period of food shortage occurred when the animals were mature and was terminated before the administration of amphetamine. Strain differences in behavior appear highly dependent on environmental experiences. Consequently, to identify biological determinants of behavior, an integrated approach considering the interaction between environmental and genetic factors needs to be used.

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