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Environmental enrichment exerts sex-specific effects on emotionality in C57BL/6J mice

Environmental enrichment exerts sex-specific effects on emotionality in C57BL/6J mice,10.1016/j.bbr.2010.08.019,Behavioural Brain Research,En-Ju D. Li

Environmental enrichment exerts sex-specific effects on emotionality in C57BL/6J mice   (Citations: 1)
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Environmental enrichment (EE) has been shown to exert various behavioral and mood effects in rodents including emotionality, which has a high propensity to be influenced by sex. However, there are only a few comparative studies evaluating the effect of EE and their results are both inconsistent and inconclusive. In the present study, male and female C57BL/6J adolescent mice were housed in either physical enrichment or standard conditions for four weeks with analysis of affective behaviors in the open field, elevated T-maze and forced swim tests. Hippocampal gene expression was characterized in an additional group of mice. In the open field test, exploration was similarly inhibited by EE in male and female mice. Both sex and housing condition influenced the time mice spent in the center of the arena. In the elevated T-maze, anxiety-like behavior was increased in female and decreased in male mice following EE. We observed a trend for EE-induced inhibition of glucocorticoid receptor (GR) mRNA expression in male but not in female mice. In contrast, mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) expression was unaffected by 10 days of physical enrichment but was lower in female mice compared to male mice. Our data suggest that the balance between hippocampal GR and MR may contribute to the observed sex-specific effect of physical enrichment on emotionality-related behavior.
Journal: Behavioural Brain Research - BEHAV BRAIN RES , vol. 216, no. 1, pp. 349-357, 2011
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