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J Psychiatr Res. 2001 May-Jun;35(3):147-54.

Differential analysis of behavior and diazepam-induced alterations in C57BL/6N and BALB/c mice using the modified hole board test.

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  • 1Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Kraepelinstr. 2-10, D-80804 Munich, Germany.


A variety of test procedures are used in preclinical research on behavioral pharmacology and to dissociate behavioral differences or pharmacologically induced behavioral alterations several independent tests are usually performed. In the present study we introduce a modified hole board procedure for mice which allows us to investigate a variety of behavioral parameters such as anxiety, risk assessment, exploration, locomotion, food-intake inhibition, novelty seeking, and arousal by using only one test. The modified hole board was established by investigating the behavior of two inbred mouse strains, C57BL/6 and BALB. Significant differences in terms of locomotor activity, general exploration, and other parameters were found. Moreover, strain-specific exploration strategies could be detected in the modified hole board. Further, the test was validated by investigating the effects of diazepam as standard anxiolytic on the behavior in both mouse strains. Acute administration of diazepam (1 and 3 mg/kg) induced strong sedative effects in a dose-dependent manner in C57BL/6 mice. In BALB mice, the lower dosage of diazepam showed an activating and anxiolytic action while the 3 mg dosage revealed a slight sedative but still anxiolytic effect in these animals. Taken together, the results demonstrate that the modified hole board enables to differentially investigate behavioral phenotypes and also pharmacologically-induced behavioral alterations in mice. Therefore, this new strategy allows to reduce the number of experimental animals and the time needed, thus, representing an effective screening-tool for behavioral investigations.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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