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Inter-individual and inter-strain differences in cognitive and social abilities of Dark Agouti and Wistar Han rats

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Title:Inter-individual and inter-strain differences in cognitive and social abilities of Dark Agouti and Wistar Han rats
Creators Name:Alonso, L. and Peeva, P. and Ramos-Prats, A. and Alenina, N. and Winter, Y. and Rivalan, M.
Abstract:BACKGROUND: Healthy animals showing extreme behaviours spontaneously that resemble human psychiatric symptoms are relevant models to study the natural psychobiological processes of maladapted behaviours. Healthy poor decision makers (PDMs) identified using a Rat Gambling Task, co-express a combination of cognitive and reward-based characteristics similar to symptoms observed in human patients with impulse-control disorders. The main goals of this study were to 1) confirm the existence of PDMs and their unique behavioural phenotypes in the Dark Agouti (DA) and WH, 2) to extend the behavioural profile of the PDMs to probability-based decision-making and social behaviours and 3) to discuss how the key traits of each strain could be relevant for biomedical research. METHODS: We compared cognitive abilities, natural behaviours and physiological responses in DA and WH rats using several tests. We analysed the results at the strain and the individual level. RESULTS: Previous findings in WH rats were reproduced and could be generalized to DA. Each PDM of either strain displayed a similar, naturally occurring, combination of behavioural traits, including possibly higher social rank, but no deficits in probability-based decision-making. A Random forest analysis revealed interesting discriminating traits between WH and DA. CONCLUSION: The reproducibility and conservation of the socio-cognitive and behavioural phenotypes of GDM and PDM individuals in the two genetically different strains of WH and DA support a good translational validity of these phenotypes. Both DA and WH rat strains present large phenotypic variations in behaviour pertinent for the study of the underlying mechanisms of poor decision making and associated disorders.
Keywords:Animals, Rats
Publisher:Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
Article Number:bioRxiv:566877
Date:23 April 2019
Official Publication:https://doi.org/10.1101/566877
Related to:
https://edoc.mdc-berlin.de/18414/Final version

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