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Behav Brain Res. 2000 Oct;115(1):95-106.

Behavioural analysis of four mouse strains in an anxiety test battery.

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  • 1Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Kraepelinstrasse 2-10, D-80804, Munich, Germany. gaalen@mpipsykl.mpg.de


Differences in locomotor activity, exploratory activity and anxiety-like behaviour of C57BL/6ChR,C57BL/6J, Swiss Webster/J and A/J strain were investigated in an anxiety battery. The battery consisted of paradigms studying spontaneous behaviour after a mild stressor, tasks of innate anxiety (light-dark box, elevated plus maze, novel object exploration), response to a conflict situation (Vogel conflict), conditioned fear and response to inescapable swim stress. Locomotor activity was studied in an open field and compared with locomotion in the other tests. Exploratory behaviour was studied in a 16-hole board task. The data confirm previous studies suggesting that A/J mice are a relatively anxious strain. Also, the data indicated that locomotor activity was independent of the paradigm employed, while the rank order of strain-dependent effects on anxiety-related behaviour changed as a function of the task under study. Our data provide further support for the notion that choice of strain is essential in studies of anxiety-related behaviour. Influence of strain should be considered in pharmacological and lesion studies, as well as in studies with mutant mice. In addition, the data indicate that different anxiety paradigms tax different aspects of anxiety, suggesting that a battery of different tests should be used in studies of anxiety-related behaviour.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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