Cross-species behavioural genetics: A starting point for unravelling the neurobiology of human psychiatric disorders

Annetrude J G de Mooij-van Malsen, Christiaan H Vinkers, Danielle P Peterse, Berend Olivier, Martien J H Kas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Identifying the genetic and neurobiological mechanisms underlying certain behavioural traits is an important strategy to understand the aetiology of various psychiatric disorders and to find potential new treatment possibilities. It has proven a great challenge to develop paradigms that allow translational research for behavioural phenotypes that are relevant for disorders across the psychiatric spectrum. Recently, there has been increasing attention for studies that implement rodent behavioural paradigms in the home cage to assess the association between genetic backgrounds and behavioural traits. The application of interspecies genetics to unravel these traits has revealed novel insights in the genetic mechanisms that are encoding phenotypes relevant to biological processes underlying psychiatric disorders. By means of two examples, namely the stress-induced hyperthermia paradigm and the home cage environment, this review aims to show that by using individual genetic variations with phenotypes obtained from mice and across categories of neuropsychiatric disorders, novel insights in the neurobiological trajectory of psychiatric disorders can be obtained.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1383-90
Number of pages8
JournalProgress in Neuropsychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Animals
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents/pharmacology
  • Behavior, Animal/drug effects
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Genetic Variation
  • Housing, Animal
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders/genetics
  • Models, Biological
  • Species Specificity
  • Translational Medical Research/methods

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