Anxiety test: LightSpot test

anxiety-test-lightspot-testEvaluation of anxiety-like behaviour

We developed a one-night anxiety test that can be implemented in a battery of home-cage tests1. The test measures an animal’s response to an anxiogenic stimulus in an automated home-cage, without human intervention. During this test, a light spot is switched on during the dark phase. The light spot induces anxiety-like behaviour, observed as avoidance behaviour (hiding in the shelter compartment). The time spent outside the shelter compartment during the test (LightSpot; solid lines) is compared with the time spent in this area in the preceding night (baseline; dashed lines), when the light spot was turned off.

Diazepam reduces anxiety response

The light spot reduces time spent outside of the shelter in C57Bl/6 mice (orange lines), which is reversed by the typical anxiolytic diazepam (purple lines)1. Diazepam was administered using a voluntary oral administration protocol developed by us. This circumvents the requirement of any mouse handling.

1The light spot test: measuring anxiety in mice in an automated home-cage environment. Aarts, Loos et al., Behav Brain Res. 2015; doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2015.06.011