RGD Reference Report - Androgen insensitive male rats display increased anxiety-like behavior on the elevated plus maze. - Rat Genome Database

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Androgen insensitive male rats display increased anxiety-like behavior on the elevated plus maze.

Authors: Hamson, DK  Jones, BA  Csupity, AS  Ali, FM  Watson, NV 
Citation: Hamson DK, etal., Behav Brain Res. 2014 Feb 1;259:158-63. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2013.11.021. Epub 2013 Nov 20.
RGD ID: 10043340
Pubmed: PMID:24269497   (View Abstract at PubMed)
DOI: DOI:10.1016/j.bbr.2013.11.021   (Journal Full-text)

Male rats carrying the testicular feminization mutation (Tfm-affected males) are insensitive to androgens, resulting in a female-typical peripheral phenotype despite possession of inguinal testes that are androgen secretory. Androgen-dependent neural and behavioral processes may likewise show atypical sexual differentiation. Interestingly, these mutant rats display elevated serum corticosterone, suggesting a chronic anxiety phenotype and dysregulated hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. In order to understand if elevated anxiety-like behavior is a possible mediating variable affecting the display of certain androgen-dependent behaviors, we compared the performance of Tfm-affected males to wild type males and females in the elevated plus maze (EPM). Two well-established indicators of anxiety-like behavior in the EPM were analyzed: total percentage of time spent on the open arms, and the percentage of open arm entries. We also analyzed the total number of open arm entries. Interestingly, Tfm-affected males spent less percentage of time on the open arms than both males and females, suggesting increased anxiety-like behavior. Percentage of open arm entries and the total number of arm entries was comparable between the groups, indicating that the observed decrease in the percentage of time spent on the open arms was not due to a global reduction in exploratory behavior. These data, in contrast to earlier reports, thus implicate androgen receptor-mediated functions in the expression of anxiety behaviors in male rats. Given that anxiety is widely reported as a precipitating factor in depression, studying the role of the androgen receptor in anxiety may give insights into the pathogenesis of major depressive disorder.

Phenotype Annotations    Click to see Annotation Detail View

Mammalian Phenotype

TermQualifierEvidenceWithReferenceNotesSourceOriginal Reference(s)
increased thigmotaxis  IAGP 10043340 RGD 
Objects Annotated

Genes (Rattus norvegicus)
Ar  (androgen receptor)

Additional Information