Open field locomotor activity and anxiety-related behaviors in mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA mice

Adeline A. Lau, Allison C. Crawley, John J. Hopwood, Kim M. Hemsley

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62 Citations (Scopus)


Mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS) IIIA, or Sanfilippo syndrome, is a lysosomal storage disorder characterized by severe and progressive neuropathology. Following an asymptomatic period, patients may present with sleep disturbances, cognitive decline, aggressive tendencies and hyperactivity. A naturally-occurring mouse model of MPS IIIA also exhibits many of these behavioral features and has been recently back-crossed onto a C57BL/6 genetic background. To more thoroughly characterize the behavioral phenotype of congenic MPS IIIA mice, we assessed exploratory activity and unconditioned anxiety-related behavior in the elevated plus maze (EPM) and open field locomotor activity. Although MPS IIIA male mice were less active in the EPM at 18 and 20 weeks of age, they were more likely to explore the open arms than their normal counter-parts suggesting reduced anxiety. Repeated EPM testing reduced exploration of the open arms in MPS IIIA mice. In the open field test, significant reductions in activity were evident in naïve-tested male MPS IIIA mice from 10 weeks of age. Female normal and MPS IIIA mice displayed similar exploratory activity in the open field test. These differences in anxiety and locomotor activity will allow us to evaluate the efficacy of therapeutic regimes for MPS IIIA as a forerunner to developing safe and effective therapies for Sanfilippo patients. Crown

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-136
Number of pages7
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Aug 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Anxiety
  • C57BL/6
  • Elevated plus maze
  • Mucopolysaccharidosis
  • Open field activity
  • Sanfilippo syndrome


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