Identification of genetic factors that modify motor performance and body weight using Collaborative Cross mice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Jian-Hua Mao
  • Sasha A Langley
  • Yurong Huang
  • Michael Hang
  • Kristofer E Bouchard
  • Susan E Celniker
  • Janet K Jansson
  • Gary H Karpen
  • Antoine M Snijders

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Life Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, USA.
  • Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Richland, WA, USA.
  • University of California, Berkeley


Evidence has emerged that suggests a link between motor deficits, obesity and many neurological disorders. However, the contributing genetic risk factors are poorly understood. Here we used the Collaborative Cross (CC), a large panel of newly inbred mice that captures 90% of the known variation among laboratory mice, to identify the genetic loci controlling rotarod performance and its relationship with body weight in a cohort of 365 mice across 16 CC strains. Body weight and rotarod performance varied widely across CC strains and were significantly negatively correlated. Genetic linkage analysis identified 14 loci that were associated with body weight. However, 45 loci affected rotarod performance, seven of which were also associated with body weight, suggesting a strong link at the genetic level. Lastly, we show that genes identified in this study overlap significantly with those related to neurological disorders and obesity found in human GWA studies. In conclusion, our results provide a genetic framework for studies of the connection between body weight, the central nervous system and behavior.


Original languageEnglish
Article number16247
Number of pages9
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 9 Nov 2015


  • Animals, Body Weight/genetics, Chromosome Mapping, Genetic Linkage, Genotype, Humans, Mice, Mice, Inbred Strains, Motor Activity/genetics, Obesity/genetics, Phenotype, Quantitative Trait Loci/genetics, Risk Factors