Document Detail

Common variations in the pretest environment influence genotypic comparisons in models of anxiety.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16176387     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The behavioral characterization of rodent strains in different studies and laboratories can provide unreplicable results even when genotypes are kept constant and environmental control is maximized. In the present study, the influence of common laboratory environmental variables and their interaction with genotype on the results of behavioral tests of anxiety/emotionality were investigated. To this end, the inbred rat strains Lewis (LEW) and spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR), which are known to differ for numerous emotionality-related behaviors, were tested in the open field (OF), elevated plus maze (EPM) and black/white box (BWB), while three environmental factors were systematically controlled and analyzed: (1) the experimenter handling the animal (familiar or unfamiliar); (2) the position of the home cage (top or bottom shelf of the rack) and (3) the behavioral state of the animal immediately before the test (arousal or rest). Experimenter familiarity did not alter the behavior of rats in the OF. Cage position, on the other hand, influenced the behavior in the OF and BWB, with rats housed in top cages appearing less anxious than those housed in the bottom. In the BWB (but not in the OF), these effects were genotype dependent. Finally, the behavioral state of the animals prior to testing altered the results of the EPM in a strain-dependent manner, with some anxiety-related genotypic differences being found only among rats that were aroused in their home cages. This study showed that common variations in the laboratory environment interact with genotype in behavioral tests of anxiety/emotionality. Recognizing and understanding such variations can help in the design of more effective experiments.
G S Izídio; D M Lopes; L Spricigo; A Ramos
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Genes, brain, and behavior     Volume:  4     ISSN:  1601-1848     ISO Abbreviation:  Genes Brain Behav.     Publication Date:  2005 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-09-22     Completed Date:  2006-01-23     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101129617     Medline TA:  Genes Brain Behav     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  412-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Laboratório de Genética do Comportamento, Departamento de Biologia Celular, Embriologia e Genética, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, 88040-900 Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil.
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MeSH Terms
Analysis of Variance
Anxiety / genetics*,  psychology
Arousal / genetics,  physiology*
Behavior, Animal / physiology*
Disease Models, Animal
Exploratory Behavior / physiology*
Handling (Psychology)
Housing, Animal
Rats, Inbred Lew
Rats, Inbred SHR
Species Specificity
Stress, Psychological / genetics,  psychology

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