NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Institute of Drug Abuse and the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism aim to spend $3 million next year to fund between four and eight investigators who will map genetic traits associated with addiction in mouse strains and how environmental changes and developmental stages affect them.
NIDA expects to use $2 million in fiscal year 2009 to fund between two and five applications and NIAAA will commit roughly $1 million next year to these studies.
Applicants may seek funds totaling $1.4 million in direct costs of up to five years.
The mouse genome has been sequenced in a number of different strains and it is now time to try to map the complex traits and identify the gene-development interactions for addiction-related behaviors in the mouse, the National Institutes of Health said in a request for applications.
NIH added that more than 40 inbred strains now have been genotyped, and there are a large number of other inbred and outbred strains exist that could be used to fine map common and rare genetic variants and to conduct systems biology studies for addiction-related behaviors.
NIDA also would aim to identify epigenetic and genetic modifiers that produce different phenotypic outcomes in mice carrying certain genetic variants when they are exposed to different environmental and developmental conditions.
NIAA is currently aiming to fund investigators who will identify genetic variations and epigenetic modifications that underlie alcohol-related phenotypes in animal models.
These could include examining genetic and epigenetic influences that interact with the environment and with development and that lead to alcohol dependence, withdrawal, and relapse.