Anxiety-like Domain

Elevated plus maze – This test is an approach avoidance test evaluating an anxiety like phenotype by monitoring animal levels of risk avoidance (of maze open arms). The test apparatus consists of four arms- two closed (enclosed by high side walls) and perpendicular to them two open arms, all four converging on a central platform. This construction is elevated 75 cm from the ground. The animal is placed on the central platform, and over 6 minutes the time spent in the open and closed arms, arms entries and transitions from each arm kind to the other are tracked and recorded. The apparatus for rats consist of four arms  measuring 50 × 10 cm, The closed arms are  enclosed by walls 40-cm high, except for the entrance.

[This test is applicable to rats and mice]

Reference:

Painsipp E, Wultsch T, Shahbazian A, Edelsbrunner M, Kreissl MC, Schirbel A, Bock E, Pabst MA, Thoeringer CK, Huber HP, Holzer P (2007) experimental gastritis in mice enhances anxiety in a gender-related manner. Neuroscience 150(3):522-536


Stress induced hyperthermia- This test evaluates an animal’s level of stress/arousal by measuring the extent of stress-induced temperature elevation. A stainless steel rectal probe for rodent temperature measurement (Harvard Apparatus, Holliston, MA, USA) connected to a Thermalert TH-5 thermometer is dipped in mineral oil and then inserted into the rectum, and temperature is measured as baseline value. 10 minutes later, hyperthermia resulting from the stress induced by the first measurement is measured.

[This test is applicable to mice only]

Reference:

Vinkers CH, van Oorschot R, Korte SM, Olivier B, Groenink L (2010) 5-HT1A receptor blockade reverses GABA(A) receptor alpha3 subunit-mediated anxiolytic effects on stress-induced hyperthermia. Psychopharmacology 211:123-130


Open field test – This test is an approach avoidance test evaluating anxiety an like phenotype by  monitoring the animal levels of risk avoidance (of the open arena center). The animal is introduced into an open field arena. Arena center and periphery are defined using the EthoVision arena setting tools. Over 6 minutes, distance moved by the animal, its velocity, time spent in the periphery or center of the arena and frequency of entries into each zone are tracked and recorded.

[This test is applicable to rats and mice]

Reference:

Choleris E, Thomas AW, Kavaliers M, Prato FS (2001) A detailed ethological analysis of the mouse open field test: Effects of diazepam, chlordiazepoxide and an extremely low frequency pulsed magnetic field. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 25(3):235-260


Startle response – This test evaluate an animal’s level of stress/ arousal by measuring the extent of auditory tone induced flinching. This test is conducted in the same device used for prepulse inhibition studies. Startle trials consist of a single noise burst (110 dB, 40ms), thereafter the amplitude of animal flinch is recorded.

[This test is applicable to rats and mice]

Reference:

Cohen H, Geva AB, Matar MA, Zohar J, Kaplan Z (2008) Post-traumatic stress behavioural responses in inbred mouse strains: can genetic predisposition explain phenotypic vulnerability? Int J Neuropsychopharmacol 11(3):331-349


Light dark box – This test is an approach avoidance test evaluating an anxiety like phenotype by monitoring the animal’s levels of risk avoidance (the open- lightened compartment of the light dark box). The device used in this test consists of two distinct compartments, interconnected by a small opening. One compartment is open-lighted, and the other is closed-dark. Over 10 minutes, time spent in each compartment and frequency and number of transitions between the two compartments are tracked and recorded.

[This test is applicable to mice only]

Reference:

Chen CV, Brummet JL, Lonstein JS, Jordan CL, Breedlove SM (2014) New knockout model confirms a role for androgen receptors in regulating anxiety-like behaviors and hpa response in mice. Horm Behav 65(3):211-218


Peripheral stress-related biomarkers (serum corticosterone, ACTH) – This test evaluates the animal’s level of stress/ arousal by measuring the extent of stress induced elevation serum corticpsterone. 30 minutes after exposure to stress, animals are anesthetized using veterinary pental, the heart is surgically exposed, blood is drawn (by the applicable technique for rats and mice), centrifuged and serum separated. Serum corticosterone and ACTH content are assayed.

[This test is applicable to rats and mice]

Reference:

Lotan A, Lifschytz T, Slonimsky A, Broner EC, Greenbaum L, Abedat S, Fellig Y, Cohen H, Lory O, Goelman G, Lerer B (2013) Neural mechanisms underlying stress resilience in AHi1 knockout mice: Relevance to neuropsychiatric disorders. Mol Psychiatry 19(2):243-252