To assess motor co-ordination and balance.



Mice are placed on the rotating rod and have to keep their balance to avoid falling off. The time (latency) it takes the mouse to fall off the rotating rod at different speeds or under continuous acceleration (e.g. from 4 to 40 rpm) is measured. Outliers in this task could be a genetic model of multiple sclerosis or other motor-related human disorders.

Figure 1 illustrates performance of mGluR4 mice in this task. (From Pekhletski R, Gerlai R et al. 1996. Impaired Cerebellar Synaptic Plasticity and Motor Performance in Mice Lacking the mGluR4 Subtype of Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor. J of Neurosci. V. 16 (20), pp. 6364-6373.)

Rotarod Figure 1ab 

Figure 1. A. Motor-learning performance on the rotating rod. The homozygous mice were impaired, as compared with the +/+ and +/ mice from the fourteenth session onward. B. Falling latency (in seconds) of naive, untrained mice on the rotating rod at 30 rpm. No significant differences were seen among all genotypes.

Rotarod Figure 2 

Figure 2. Perfomance of Wobbly mice in the Rotarod test, carrying point mutation in the calcium channel, CACNA1A. Adult Wb/Wb (n = 12), Wb/þ (n = 12), tg-la/Wb (n = 11), tg-la/þ (n = 10) and þ/þ mice (n = 10) were examined for rotarod performance. Wb/þ, Wb/Wb and tg-la/Wb mice showed significant differences compared with tg-la/þ and þ/þ mice. (From Xie et al 2007. Forward genetic screen of mouse reveals dominant missense mutation in the P/Q-type voltage-dependent calcium channel, CACNA1A. Genes Brain Behav. 2007 Nov;6(8):717-27.)