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Conclusions from a behavioral aging study on male and female F2 hybrid mice on age-related behavior, buoyancy in water-based tests, and an ethical method to assess lifespan.

Journal article
Authors Julia Adelöf
Jaime M Ross
Stanley E Lazic
Madeleine Zetterberg
John Wiseman
Malin Hernebring
Published in Aging
Volume 11
ISSN 1945-4589
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.18632/aging.102242
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...
Subject categories Biophysics, Biological Sciences, Gerontology, specializing in Medical and Health Sciences, Neuroscience

Abstract

Due to strain-specific behavioral idiosyncrasies, inbred mouse strains are suboptimal research models for behavioral aging studies. The aim of this study is to determine age-related behavioral changes of F2 hybrid C57BL/6NxBALB/c male and female mice. Lifespan was followed (nmales=48, nfemales=51) and cohorts of mature adult (7 months), middle-aged (15 months), and old mice (22 months of age; n=7-12 per group) were assessed regarding open-field activity, exploration, passive avoidance learning/memory, and depressive-like behavior. We found that both males and females demonstrated decreased exploratory behavior with age, while memory and depressive-like behavior were maintained. Females exhibited enhanced depressive-like behavior compared to males; however, a correlation between fat mass and swimming activity in the test directly accounted for 30-46% of this behavioral sex difference. In addition, we suggest a method to qualitatively estimate natural lifespan from survival analyses in which animals with signs of pain or severe disease are euthanized. This is, to our knowledge, the first behavioral study to consider both sex and aging in hybrid mice. We here define decreased exploratory behavior as a conserved hallmark of aging independent of sex, highlight the effect of buoyancy in water tests, and provide a method to assay lifespan with reduced animal suffering.

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