Exploring test batteries for depression- And anxiety-like behaviors in female and male ICR and black Swiss mice

Lyudmila Kazavchinsky, Sofi Dahan, Haim Einat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective and rationale:Animal models are critical for the study of mental disorders and their treatments but are repeatedly criticized for problems with validity and reproducibility. One approach to enhance validity and reproducibility of models is to use test batteries rather than single tests. Yet, a question regarding batteries is whether one can expect a consistent individual behavioral phenotype in mice across tests that can be presumed to be part of the same construct.The present study was designed to explore the relationship between the behaviors of mice across tests in some variations of test batteries for depression- and anxiety-like behaviors.Methods:Female and male healthy, intact and untreated mice from the ICR and black Swiss strains were used in four separate experiments. With some variations, mice were exposed to a battery of behavioral tests representing affective- and anxiety-like behaviors. Data were analyzed for differences between sexes and for correlations between behaviors within and across the tests in the battery.Results:No differences were found between the sexes. With very few exceptions, we found correlations within tests (when one test has more than one measure or is repeated) but not across different tests within the battery.Conclusions:The results cast some doubt on the utility of behavioral test batteries to represent different facets of emotional behavior in healthy intact outbred mice, without any interventions or treatments. Additional studies are designed to explore whether stronger relationship between the tests will appear after manipulations or drug treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-302
JournalActa Neuropsychiatrica
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Affective disorders
  • Animal models
  • Depression
  • Key words:
  • Reproducibility
  • Validity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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