Evaluation of the elevated plus-maze and open-field tests for the assessment of anxiety-related behaviour in inbred mice.
ABSTRACT The elevated plus-maze test (PM) and open-field test (OF) are routinely used to study anxiety-related behaviour in mouse. However, the data obtained with these tests have often been contradictory, probably because of differences between laboratories in the selection and analysis of behavioural parameters. We have characterised the pattern of mouse anxiety by analysing a number of behavioural parameters with both PM and OF in BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice, two behaviourally distant mouse strains. Twenty-eight variables (15 analysed with PM and 13 with OF) were selected by correlation analysis from those initially recorded with both tests. The scores of the selected variables were first analysed by MANOVAs, and then by principal component analysis (PCA). PCA extracted five factors for PM and four factors for OF. These factors were subjected to a correlation analysis, which showed significant correlation between four of them. The factorial scores of BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice were analysed by MANOVAs, which showed significant effects of both the strain and test used. Our results confirm the multidimensional structure of mouse anxiety-related behaviour as regards both simple components and functional interactions, and comprehensively represent strain- and test-specific features of mouse anxiety-related behaviour.
Article: Prenatal stress and peripubertal stimulation of the endocannabinoid system differentially regulate emotional responses and brain metabolism in mice.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The central endocannabinoid system (ECS) and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-axis mediate individual responses to emotionally salient stimuli. Their altered developmental adjustment may relate to the emergence of emotional disturbances. Although environmental influences regulate the individual phenotype throughout the entire lifespan, their effects may result particularly persistent during plastic developmental stages (e.g. prenatal life and adolescence). Here, we investigated whether prenatal stress--in the form of gestational exposure to corticosterone supplemented in the maternal drinking water (100 mg/l) during the last week of pregnancy--combined with a pharmacological stimulation of the ECS during adolescence (daily fatty acid amide hydrolase URB597 i.p. administration--0.4 mg/kg--between postnatal days 29-38), influenced adult mouse emotional behaviour and brain metabolism measured through in vivo quantitative magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Compared to control mice, URB597-treated subjects showed, in the short-term, reduced locomotion and, in the long term, reduced motivation to execute operant responses to obtain palatable rewards paralleled by reduced levels of inositol and taurine in the prefrontal cortex. Adult mice exposed to prenatal corticosterone showed increased behavioural anxiety and reduced locomotion in the elevated zero maze, and altered brain metabolism (increased glutamate and reduced taurine in the hippocampus; reduced inositol and N-Acetyl-Aspartate in the hypothalamus). Present data further corroborate the view that prenatal stress and pharmacological ECS stimulation during adolescence persistently regulate emotional responses in adulthood. Yet, whilst we hypothesized these factors to be interactive in nature, we observed that the consequences of prenatal corticosterone administration were independent from those of ECS drug-induced stimulation during adolescence.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(7):e41821. · 4.09 Impact Factor
Article: Maternal exercise decreases maternal deprivation induced anxiety of pups and correlates to increased prefrontal cortex BDNF and VEGF.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Maternal deprivation (MD) may cause neuropsychiatric disorders such as anxiety disorder by negatively affecting the cognitive functions and behavior in pups. The aim of this study is to investigate whether maternal exercise during pregnancy has beneficial effects on anxiety that increases with MD, and on the levels of VEGF and BDNF which have anxiolytic effects on the prefrontal cortex, the anxiety-related region of the brain. The anxiety level in the deprivation group was greater than the control group and found more in male than female pups. The prefrontal cortex VEGF and BDNF levels were decreased in the deprivation group compared to control group while serum corticosterone levels were increased in the deprivation group. Anxiety and serum corticosterone levels were decreased in maternally exercised female and male pups, while the prefrontal cortex VEGF and BDNF levels were increased, compared to sedentary mother's pups. These results indicate that maternal exercise may attenuate the negative effect of stresses such as maternal deprivation that can be encountered early in life.Neuroscience Letters 10/2011; 505(3):273-8. · 2.11 Impact Factor
Article: A higher inherent trait for fearfulness is associated with increased anxiety-like behaviours and diazepam sensitivity in Japanese quail[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Emotionality trait influences exploratory behaviour in Japanese quail. Diazepam decreases impact of emotionality on exploratory behaviour. Selection on tonic immobility response represents valuable model of bird anxiety. a b s t r a c t This study tested whether lines of Japanese quails divergently selected for a fear response, the tonic immobility, might constitute a reliable bird model for studying anxiety. Previous studies demonstrated that the selection modifies the general underlying emotionality of the birds rather than exerting its effect only on tonic immobility. The behavioural effects of intraperitoneal injections of diazepam, an anxiolytic drug, were assessed in two lines of quail selected either for their short (STI) or long (LTI) duration of tonic immobility. Effects of diazepam were examined in two tests used for measuring emotionality in birds, the open field and the tonic immobility tests. After being placed in the centre of the open field, birds with a high emotionality (LTI quails) stayed longer in the centre of the apparatus than STI quail. Diazepam had anxiolytic effect in LTI birds as it increased the time spent in the outer area. This effect of diazepam appears to be selective because the drug has no effect on other behaviours such as distress calls or escape attempts. The drug has also no effect on the tonic immobility response in any of the two lines. These findings reveal an "anxiogenic" trait of LTI birds in the open field test that can be modulated by the administration of an anxiolytic drug. Therefore quails selected for LTI and STI represent a valuable model to study the mechanisms underlying anxiety in birds.Behavioural brain research 01/2013; 237:124-128. · 3.22 Impact Factor