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Environmental enrichment exerts anxiolytic effects in the Indian field mouse (Mus booduga)

By D. R. Varman, Marimuthu Ganapathy, K. E. Rajan

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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.

Date 2011
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 136
Issue 2
Pages 166-173
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
Publisher Elsevier
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2011.12.003
Language English
Author Address Department of Animal Science, School of Life Sciences, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli 620 024,
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animal diseases
  3. Animal models
  4. Animal rights
  5. Animals
  6. Animal welfare
  7. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  8. Corticosteroids
  9. Effect
  10. Enrichment
  11. Environment
  12. Genetics
  13. Glucocorticoids
  14. Hormones
  15. Inhibition
  16. Mammals
  17. Mice
  18. models
  19. mRNA
  20. peer-reviewed
  21. Pesticides and Drugs
  22. Physiology and biochemistry
  23. release
  24. RNA
  25. Rodents
  26. steroids
  27. Stress
  28. Wild animals
  29. Zoology
  1. peer-reviewed