PsychoGenics consistently delivers high-quality preclinical anxiety studies using a diverse range of models and tests. With advanced technology and expertise, we enhance the understanding of anxiety’s complexities and foster the development of innovative treatments.  

With years of experience dedicated to preclinical anxiety research, we possess an in-depth understanding of preclinical testing approaches of anxiety disorders. Combined with our consulting on study design, well characterized rodent models, and an extensive catalog of tests, PsychoGenics empowers your preclinical anxiety research endeavors.

Preclinical Anxiety Models

PsychoGenics’ carefully selected anxiety models and tests mimic anxiety-related behaviors, providing valuable insights into the physiological and cognitive dimensions of anxiety disorders. PsychoGenics offers the following preclinical anxiety models:

Elevated Plus Maze (EPM) is widely used as an anxiety paradigm and is based on unconditioned responses of rodents to a potentially dangerous environment. A combination of maze height, luminosity and open space is assumed to induce fear or anxiety, the degree of which is assessed by measuring the amount of time the subject spends in the open arms of the maze.

Anxiolytics like diazepam increases the time spent in the open arm without affecting the locomotor activity of the mice.

Chlordiazepoxide (CDP) increases the time spent in the open arm without affecting the locomotor activity of the rats.

Marble burying is used as a model for both anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder. C57Bl/6J mice are used in this test. Number of marbles buried and distance traveled are measured in a 30-minute test period. Mice pretreated with anxiolytic agents show less marble burying ability compared to control.

CDP decreased marble-burying behavior without impacting the locomotor activity of the mice.

Paroxetine decreases marble-burying without affecting the locomotor activity of the mice.

The Geller Seifter Conflict Test serves as a putative animal model of anxiety. Rats learn to press a lever for food reinforcement. Noxious stimuli (such as mild foot-shock) suppress the response in rodents.

Anxiolytic drugs increase the number of shocks accepted in the punished condition without affecting unpunished responding (number of food reinforcements without a foot-shock). This task has the advantage of selectivity for anxiolytic drugs, showing no effects of other classes of psychotropic drugs.

Administration of Diazepam increased punished responding without affecting unpunished responding.

Administration of chlordiazepoxide (CDP) significantly increased punished responding. At the highest dose tested (10 mg/kg), CDP significantly decreased unpunished responding. These data indicate that the anxiolytic properties of CDP (10 mg/kg) were associated with sedative side effects.

Novelty-suppressed feeding (NSF) measures a rodent’s aversion to eating in a novel environment. This test assesses stress-induced anxiety by measuring the latency of an animal that has been food-deprived overnight to approach and eat familiar food in an aversive environment. The test is sensitive to acute anxiolytics and chronic antidepressants.

Acute injection of Diazepam decreased the latency to eat.

The social interaction test is used to assess anxiety-related behavior in rodents by using natural behaviors as the dependent measures. When two unfamiliar rodents are placed together, the animals will spend a certain amount of time interacting with each other, measured as sniffing, grooming and following. Anxiolytic drugs will increase interaction time.

A pair of rats from the same treatment group is placed in a novel open-field environment, and the number of interactions (following, sniffing, grooming, and climbing) are measured for 6 minutes.

Acute administration of either Diazepam or Chlordiazepoxide increased social interaction in rats.

Stress-Induced Hyperthermia (SIH) demonstrates that a stressor will increase body temperature. This effect is attenuated with anxiolytics. Temperature is measured twice within a 10-minute period. Change in temperature (T2-T1) is SIH.

129SVEV mice show higher sensitivity to CDP compared to C57Bl/6J mice in this test.

Acute administration of Diazepam decreases SIH in Sprague Dawley rats.

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