Different levels of Fos immunoreactivity after repeated handling and injection stress in two inbred strains of mice

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122 Scopus citations


Expression of Fos and Fos-related antigens was immunohistochemically analyzed in DBA/2J and C57BL/6J inbred mice in response to acute or repeated handling and injection stress. Both strains showed a strong induction of Fos and Fos-related antigens in discrete areas of hypothalamus, amygdala, neocortex, septum, and thalamus 2 h after an acute intraperitoneal injection of normal saline. To habituate animals to this procedure, mice were subjected to repeated handling and injections during 2 weeks preceding the experiment. This procedure led to complete habituation of the immediate early gene response to injection stress in stress-responsive brain areas of C57BL/6J mice, such that no significant difference was found between expression of these proteins in brains of saline-injected animals after repeated stress vs. control animals. In contrast, many brain areas of saline-injected DBA/2J mice still showed elevated Fos and Fos-related antigen expression after repeated injections. These results indicate that identical habituation procedures do not necessarily lead to identical levels of gene expression in brains of inbred strains of mice. In turn, they suggest that genetic components for some behavioral and pharmacological traits identified using inbred strains could be related to different rates of habituation to experimental procedures. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-151
Number of pages9
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1999


  • Fos immunoreactivity
  • Handling
  • Inbred mice
  • Injection stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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