Exploratory and habituation phenotype of heterozygous and homozygous COMT knockout mice.

Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inactivates dopamine in prefrontal cortex and is associated clinically with a schizophrenia endophenotype. Using an ethologically based approach, the phenotype of mice with heterozygous COMT deletion was characterised by decreased rearing with increased sifting and chewing. Heterozygous COMT deletion is associated with a distinctive phenotype. This differs from that which we have reported previously for heterozygous deletion of the schizophrenia risk gene neuregulin-1.