Event: 1389

Key Event Title


Locomotor activity, decreased

Short name


Locomotor activity, decreased

Biological Context


Level of Biological Organization

Key Event Components


Process Object Action

Key Event Overview

AOPs Including This Key Event


AOP Name Role of event in AOP
Inhibition of CYP7B leads to decreased locomotor activity KeyEvent



Taxonomic Applicability


Term Scientific Term Evidence Link
Vertebrates Vertebrates NCBI

Life Stages


Sex Applicability


Term Evidence
Mixed High

Key Event Description


Vertebrate move for a variety of reasons including reproduction, search for food or suitable microhabitat, and escape predator. In birds, newt, and other vertebrates, locomotor activity is cyclic and follows the circadian and/or seasonal rhythm (Saper et al., 2005; Binkley et al., 1971; Chabot  and  Menaker,  1992).

  • Locomotor activity is elevated in quail under daylight and decreases at night, following a circadian cycle. It was shown in bird that locomotor activity was mainly related to maintenance of territory (Wada, 1981; Watson, 1970). 
  • In newt, locomotor activity is high during breeding season and night time (Nagai et al., 1998).
  • In salmon, the maximum locomotor activity is observed during homing migration where fishes swim against the water flow (Gowans et al., 2003).

How It Is Measured or Detected


Locomotor activity is a measurement of distance per unit of time. Experiment design should take into account the normal seasonal and daily variation of locomotor activity.

To measure locomotor activity, animals can be placed individually in a water-filled aquarium (newts) marked with parallel lines to define sectors. Quantification of total number of lines crossed during a certain amount of time is then measured (Lowry et al., 2001; Moore et al., 1984).  

Birds can be put in a soundproof box with a telemetry system implanted to calculate their total distance during the experiment ( or in a box with wire-mesh floor and ceilings and photobeams activated when the animal break the beam (Levens et al., 2001; Tsutsui et al., 2008). 

Domain of Applicability


Measurement of locomotor activity can be performed on any motile animal. 



Gowans A. R. D., Armstrong J. D., Priede I. G. & Mckelvey S. (2003). Movements of Atlantic salmon migrating upstream through a fish-pass complex in Scotland. Ecol. Freshw. Fish 12, 177–189.

Lowry, C.A., Burke, K.A., Renner, K.J., Moore, F.L., and Orchinik, M. (2001). Rapid changes in monoamine levels following administration of corticotropin-releasing factor or corticosterone are localized in the dorsomedial hypothalamus. Horm Behav 39, 195-205.

Moore, F.L., Roberts, J., Bevers, J. (1984). Corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) stimulates locomotor activity in intact and hypophysectomized newts (Amphibia). J Exp Zool 231, 331-333.

Nagai, K., T. Oishi. T. (1998). Behavioral rhythms of the Japanese newts, Cynops pyrrhogaster, under a semi-natural condition. Int. J. Biometeorol. 41: 105–112.

Levens N., Akins C.K. (2001). Cocaine induces conditioned place preference and increases locomotor activity in Japanese quail. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 68-1, 71-80

Tsutsui, K., Haraguchi, S., Fukada, Y., and Vaudry, H. (2013). Brain and pineal 7alpha-hydroxypregnenolone stimulating locomotor activity: identification, mode of action and regulation of biosynthesis. Front Neuroendocrinol 34, 179-189.

Tsutsui, K., Inoue, K., Miyabara, H., Suzuki, S., Ogura, Y., and Haraguchi, S. (2008). 7Alpha-hydroxypregnenolone mediates melatonin action underlying diurnal locomotor rhythms. J Neurosci 28, 2158-2167.

Wada, M. (1981). Effects of photostimulation, castration, and testosterone replacement on daily patterns of calling and locomotor activity in Japanese quail. Horm Behav 15, 270-281.

Watson, A. (1970). Territorial and reproductive behaviour of red grouse. J Reprod Fertil Suppl 11, Suppl 11:13-14.