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Inbred mouse strains as models for the detection of genes relevant for the effects of antidepressants
Patients suffering from depression have been shown to differ in terms of their responsiveness to pharmacological treatment. This difference is likely to be genetically predisposed. Inbred mouse strains, which differ in their response to antidepressant drugs could provide animal models for the detection of genes that influence the clinical effects of antidepressants. Our strategy was to identify inbred mouse strains showing i) extreme differences in behavioural parameters which are thought to represent correlates to symptoms of depression in humans, and in parallel, ii) different responsiveness to antidepressant treatment. We analysed the behavioural profile of various mouse strains and identified two strains which markedly differ in anxiety-related behaviour under baseline conditions and in behavioural effects of long-term antidepressant treatment. In our current genechip microarray experiments, we use both responders and non-responders to examine alterations in gene expression, which might underlie the observed behavioural differences and the marked differences in responsiveness to antidepressant treatment in mice.