Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2009;4(4):e5346. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0005346. Epub 2009 Apr 28.

Differential stress-induced neuronal activation patterns in mouse lines selectively bred for high, normal or low anxiety.

Author information

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Institute of Pharmacy, Center for Molecular Biosciences Innsbruck (CMBI), University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria.


There is evidence for a disturbed perception and processing of emotional information in pathological anxiety. Using a rat model of trait anxiety generated by selective breeding, we previously revealed differences in challenge-induced neuronal activation in fear/anxiety-related brain areas between high (HAB) and low (LAB) anxiety rats. To confirm whether findings generalize to other species, we used the corresponding HAB/LAB mouse model and investigated c-Fos responses to elevated open arm exposure. Moreover, for the first time we included normal anxiety mice (NAB) for comparison. The results confirm that HAB mice show hyperanxious behavior compared to their LAB counterparts, with NAB mice displaying an intermediate anxiety phenotype. Open arm challenge revealed altered c-Fos response in prefrontal-cortical, limbic and hypothalamic areas in HAB mice as compared to LAB mice, and this was similar to the differences observed previously in the HAB/LAB rat lines. In mice, however, additional differential c-Fos response was observed in subregions of the amygdala, hypothalamus, nucleus accumbens, midbrain and pons. Most of these differences were also seen between HAB and NAB mice, indicating that it is predominately the HAB line showing altered neuronal processing. Hypothalamic hypoactivation detected in LAB versus NAB mice may be associated with their low-anxiety/high-novelty-seeking phenotype. The detection of similarly disturbed activation patterns in a key set of anxiety-related brain areas in two independent models reflecting psychopathological states of trait anxiety confirms the notion that the altered brain activation in HAB animals is indeed characteristic of enhanced (pathological) anxiety, providing information for potential targets of therapeutic intervention.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center