Responses to painful stimuli differ between populations, ethnic groups, sexes and even among individuals of a family. However, data regarding visceral pain are still lacking. Thus, we investigated differences in visceral nociception across inbred and outbred mouse strains using colorectal distension. Anxiety and depression-like behaviour were assessed using the open field and forced swim test as well as the corticosterone stress response. Possible mechanistic targets [excitatory amino acid transporter (EAAT-1), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and 5HT1A receptor] were also assessed using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Adult, male, inbred and outbred mouse strains were used in all assays (inbred strains; CBA/J Hsd, C3H/HeNHsd, BALB/c OlaHsd, C57 BL/6JOlaHsd, DBA/2J RccHsd, CAST/EiJ, SM/J, A/J OlaHsd, 129P2/OlaHsd, FVB/NHan Hsd and outbred strains: Swiss Webster, CD-1). mRNA expression levels of EAAT-1, BDNF and 5HT1A receptor (HTR1A) were quantified in the lumbosacral spinal cord, amygdala and hippocampus. A significant effect of strain was found in visceral sensitivity, anxiety and depressive-like behaviours. Strain differences were also seen in both baseline and stress-induced corticosterone levels. CBA/J mice consistently exhibited heightened visceral sensitivity, anxiety behaviour and depression-like behaviour which were associated with decreased spinal EAAT-1 and hippocampal BDNF and HTR1A. Our results show the CBA/J mouse strain as a novel mouse model to unravel the complex mechanisms of brain-gut axis disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, in particular the underlying mechanisms of visceral hypersensitivity, for which there is great need. Furthermore, this study highlights the importance of genotype and the consequences for future development of transgenic strains in pain research.