Two species of the genus Phodopus, Djungarian hamster (P. sungorus) and Roborovskii hamster (P. roborovskii), differ in their behavior. The Roborovskii hamster has high locomotor activity (hyperactivity) compared to the Djungarian hamster In this study, we compared locomotor activity of the hamsters in different environments, and compared their brain monoamine and metabolite levels to identify the mechanism by which both hamsters move differently. Activity of Roborovskii hamsters was significantly higher than Djungarian hamsters in the open field, while no difference was observed in their home cage. Dopamine (DA) and serotonin (5-HT) levels in the whole brain of Roborovskii hamster were significantly lower and their metabolic turnover rates were significantly higher than those of the Djungarian hamster. We conclude that the difference in activity under the novel environment between both species is partly, but not entirely, explained by the difference in monoamine levels and their metabolism in the brain.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Animal Science and Zoology
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)