How much fear is in anxiety? [article]

Andreas Genewsky, Nina Albrecht, Simona A. Bura, Paul M. Kaplick, Daniel E. Heinz, Markus Nußbaumer, Mareen Engel, Barbara Grünecker, Sebastian F. Kaltwasser, Caitlin J. Riebe, Benedikt T. Bedenk, Michael Czisch (+1 others)
2018 bioRxiv   pre-print
The selective breeding for extreme behavior on the elevated plus-maze (EPM) resulted in two mouse lines namely high-anxiety behaving (HAB) and low-anxiety behaving (LAB) mice. Using novel behavioral tests we demonstrate that HAB animals additionally exhibit maladaptive escape behavior and defensive vocalizations, whereas LAB mice show profound deficits in escaping from approaching threats which partially results from sensory deficits. We could relate these behavioral distortions to tonic
more » ... in brain activity within the periaqueductal gray (PAG) in HAB mice and the superior colliculus (SC) in LAB mice, using in vivo manganese-enhanced MRI (MEMRI) followed by pharmacological or chemogenetic interventions. Therefore, midbrain-tectal structures govern the expression of both anxiety-like behavior and defensive responses. Our results challenge the uncritical use of the anthropomorphic terms anxiety or anxiety-like for the description of mouse behavior, as they imply higher cognitive processes, which are not necessarily in place.
doi:10.1101/385823 fatcat:m42yslycrfck7brosesiwpz5le