Testing Human Anxiety Associations of Genes Previously Implicated by Mouse Anxiety Models Journal Article uri icon



  • AbstractAnxiety disorders are common and can be debilitating, with effective treatments remaining hampered by an incomplete understanding of the underlying genetic etiology. Improvements have been made in understanding the genetic influences on mouse behavioral models of anxiety, yet it is unclear the extent to which genes identified in these experimental systems contribute to genetic variation in human anxiety phenotypes. Leveraging new and existing large-scale human genome-wide association studies, we tested whether sets of genes previously identified in mouse anxiety-like behavior studies contribute to a range of human anxiety disorders. When tested as individual genes, thirteen mouse-identified genes were associated with human anxiety phenotypes, suggesting an overlap of individual genes contributing to both mouse models of anxiety-like behaviors and human anxiety traits. When genes were tested as sets, we did identify fourteen significant associations between mouse gene sets and human anxiety, but the majority of gene sets showed no significant association with human anxiety phenotypes. These few significant associations indicate a need to identify and develop more translatable mouse models by identifying sets of genes that ‘match’ between model systems and specific human phenotypes of interest. We suggest that continuing to develop improved behavioral paradigms and finer-scale experimental data, for instance from individual neuronal subtypes or cell-type-specific expression data, is likely to improve our understanding of the genetic etiology and underlying functional changes in anxiety disorders.

publication date

  • July 9, 2022

has restriction

  • green

Date in CU Experts

  • July 19, 2022 12:23 PM

Full Author List

  • Brasher MS; Mize TJ; Thomas AL; Hoeffer CA; Ehringer MA; Evans LM

author count

  • 6

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