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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2007, Article ID 35457, 8 pages
Research Article

Anxiety in Mice: A Principal Component Analysis Study

1Groupe Hospitalier Pitié-Salpêtrière, CNRS UMR 7593, Université Paris 6, 91 Boulevard de l'Hôpital, Paris Cedex 13 75634, France
2Laboratoire de Biochimie Médicale et Biologie Moléculaire, CNRS UMR 6198, Université Reims Champagne-Ardenne, Reims Cedex 51096, France
3Laboratoire d'Ethologie et de Neurobiologie, URA CNRS 1295, Université Louis Pasteur, 7 Rue de l'Université, Strasbourg 67000, France

Received 31 July 2006; Revised 15 December 2006; Accepted 7 January 2007

Academic Editor: Hymie Anisman

Copyright © 2007 Yan Clément et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Two principal component analyses of anxiety were undertaken investigating two strains of mice (ABP/Le and C57BL/6ByJ) in two different experiments, both classical tests for assessing anxiety in rodents. The elevated plus-maze and staircase were used for the first experiment, and a free exploratory paradigm and light-dark discrimination were used for the second. The components in the analyses produced definitions of four fundamental behavior patterns: novelty-induced anxiety, general activity, exploratory behavior, and decision making. We also noted that the anxious phenotype was determined by both strain and experimental procedure. The relationship between behavior patterns and the use of specific tests plus links with the genetic background are discussed.