Effects of an early handling-like procedure and individual housing on anxiety-like behavior in adult C57BL/6J and DBA/2J mice


Manipulations of rearing conditions have been used to examine the effects of early experience on adult behavior with varying results. Evidence suggests that postnatal days (PND) 15-21 are a time of particular susceptibility to environmental influences on anxiety-like behavior in mice. To examine this, we subjected C57BL/6J and DBA/2J mice to an early handling-like procedure. Pups were separated from dams from PND 12-20 for 30 minutes daily or received standard care. On PND 21, pups were weaned and either individually- or group- housed. On PND 60, anxiety-like behavior was examined on the elevated zero-maze. Although individually- housed animals took longer to enter an open quadrant of the maze, they spent more time in the open than group-housed animals. Additionally, we observed a trend of reduced anxiety-like behavior in C57BL/6J, but not DBA/2J mice that underwent the handling-like procedure. © 2011 Flanigan, Cook.

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