Vulnerability to abused drugs is influenced by multiple genes unique to each drug and to risk genes for polydrug abuse. If several inbred mouse strains respond to different drugs similarly, this implies the action of a common group of genes. Simultaneous analysis of multiple responses to multiple drugs has been attempted infrequently. We performed multivariate analyses of published strain responses to four drugs. Genetic similarity in responses did not simply track pharmacological class. Withdrawal severity and preference for ethanol and diazepam were affected by many genes in common, although inversely. We focused on behavioral responses, but there is a growing archival database of physiological, pharmacological and biochemical strain traits. The genomics community is increasingly focusing on single-nucleotide polymorphism and haplotype-based gene mapping approaches, for which inbred strain data are also useful. Thus, similar analyses should be applicable to other laboratories, traits and genotypes.
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