Environmental enrichment (EE) is known to have behavioral and physiological anxiolytic effects in several animal models. However, it is as yet unclear how EE modulates behavior of wild animals and the underlying molecular mechanisms. The adult male field mouse Mus booduga (n = 42) captured at agricultural field, were housed in non-enriched standard condition (SC) for 7 days and considered as directly from wild (DW). Another two groups of mice were housed in either EE or SC for 30 days. Behavioral testing was carried out to assess their anxiety-like behavior in the elevated plus-maze (EPM). We found that on EPM, mice housed in EE display less anxiety like behavior when compared to mice housed in SC. Exposure to plus-maze did not increase the levels of corticosterone (CORT) in prefrontal cortex (PFC) and circulating CORT, and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) in the mice housed in EE but not in the mice housed in SC. We observed a trend in the EE induced inhibition of expression of corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH), glucocorticoid receptor (GR), E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme (Ubc9) and steroid receptor coactivator-1 (SRC-1) mRNA levels, which are all known to be involved in the stress response signaling pathway. Our study suggests that EE exerts therapeutic and anxiolytic effects against stressors.
|Publication Title||Applied Animal Behaviour Science|
|Author Address||Department of Animal Science, School of Life Sciences, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli 620 024, India.firstname.lastname@example.org|
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