Anxiety Behavior Induced in Mice by Acute Stress


  • Jonathan Solomonow


mice, stress, anxiety, neuroscience, biology, neuron, behavior


The amygdala is known to be part of a limbic circuit critical for the integration of cognitive function, emotion, and memory. The basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA) is implicated in fear memory formation and acts as an overall fear and anxiety response center in the brain. Stress activates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) neuroendocrine axis, ultimately causing the release of glucocorticoids from the cortex of the adrenal glands. Previous studies showed that a 30-minute restraint stress causes a glucocorticoid-induced suppression of inhibitory synaptic inputs to BLA neurons in rats, which should lead to an increase in BLA neuron excitability and result in an anxiety-like behavior. Here, we conducted behavioral experiments in mice to test for anxiety-like behavior induced by an acute stress using the elevated plus maze, open field test, and light-dark box test. We found that mice display more anxiogenic behavior following acute restraint stress.