Early alterations of the behavioural structure of mice affected by Duchenne muscular dystrophy and tested in open-field

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Present study has been carried out to assess whether early alterations of the behavioural structure may be detected in mice affected by Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). To this purpose, both quantitative and T-pattern analysis (TPA) were used to analyse the behaviour of two groups of male, two months old mice, 18 MDX and 18 normal as control, tested in an open-field apparatus. T-pattern analysis is a multivariate technique able to reveal hidden structural features of behaviour and, in particular, its temporal characteristics. As to quantitative analyses, mean durations evidenced a significant increase of Walking, Modified Climbing and Rearing and a significant reduction of Immobile-Sniffing, Paw Licking and Immobility in MDX animals. A similar outcome was present in mean occurrences where the only difference was a significant result in Climbing rather than Immobile Sniffing. In addition, mean occurrences, evaluated for all the behavioural components, showed a significant increase for MDX mice. As to TPA, control mice performed 78 different T-patterns occurring 9500 times, whereas in MDX group 47 different T-patterns occurring 7082 times. Overall, MDX mice showed T-patterns of significantly shorter length. Finally, percent distribution of T-patterns encompassing each component of the behavioural repertoire showed significant differences between Control and MDX groups in all the behavioural components, except Climbing. Results suggest that the combined use of quantitative and temporal pattern analyses offers a useful approach to deeply investigate from a behavioural point of view pre-symptomatic stages of DMD in humans and related animal models as well.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112609-
Number of pages8
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Publication statusPublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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