Effects of transgenic overproduction of CRH on anxiety-like behaviour

Marcel M. Van Gaalen, Mary Stenzel-Poore, Florian Holsboer, Thomas Steckler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

140 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Central administration of corticotropin-releasing hormone increases anxiety-like behaviour and arousal in rodents, and increased anxiety-like behaviour has been shown in mice overproducing corticotropin-releasing hormone on an elevated plus maze and in a dark-light emergence task. However, evidence is accumulating that measures obtained from different anxiety tasks may reflect different aspects of anxiety-like behaviour in animals. We therefore tested mice overproducing corticotropin-releasing hormone in a battery of paradigms, studying spontaneous behaviour after a mild stressor, tasks of innate anxiety-like behaviour (light-dark box), lick suppression (Vogel conflict), conditioned fear, and forced swimming. Exploratory behaviour was studied in a 16-hole board task. Furthermore, pain threshold, water intake, locomotor activity and sensorimotor learning/co-ordination were tested to control for confounding factors. In line with previous findings, increased anxiety-like behaviour of transgenic mice was observed in the light-dark box paradigm. However, no differences were seen in the conflict paradigm. Conditioned fear was decreased 1 h but not 24 h after conditioning in transgenic mice, and immobility was increased in forced swimming in corticotropin-releasing hormone overexpressors. Locomotor activity in a novel open field and on the hole board was reduced in transgenics. Exploratory behaviour (hole pokes) was reduced during initial exploration of an unfamiliar hole board. Moreover, sensorimotor performance on a rotorod was impaired, and water intake was reduced in corticotropin-releasing hormone overproducing mice, while no changes were seen in nociception. No differences in locomotor activity were seen in a second group of mice, tested in a familiar open field. When these animals were challenged with diazepam, transgenic mice were less susceptible to the sedative effects of the drug on locomotor activity. These data suggest that corticotropin-releasing hormone overproduction leads to specific effects in a subset of anxiety paradigms, and that these transgenic mice suffer from a motor deficit in addition to altered anxiety-like behaviour/arousal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2007-2015
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Neuroscience
Volume15
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002

Fingerprint

Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone
Anxiety
Locomotion
Transgenic Mice
Exploratory Behavior
Arousal
Light
Drinking
Fear
Animal Behavior
Pain Threshold
Nociception
Diazepam
Hypnotics and Sedatives
Rodentia
Learning
Pharmaceutical Preparations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Effects of transgenic overproduction of CRH on anxiety-like behaviour. / Van Gaalen, Marcel M.; Stenzel-Poore, Mary; Holsboer, Florian; Steckler, Thomas.

In: European Journal of Neuroscience, Vol. 15, No. 12, 2002, p. 2007-2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Van Gaalen, Marcel M. ; Stenzel-Poore, Mary ; Holsboer, Florian ; Steckler, Thomas. / Effects of transgenic overproduction of CRH on anxiety-like behaviour. In: European Journal of Neuroscience. 2002 ; Vol. 15, No. 12. pp. 2007-2015.
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