Measuring anxiety-like behavior in a mouse model of mTBI: Assessment in standard and home cage assays

Liron Tseitlin, Bar Richmond-Hacham, Adi Vita, Shaul Schreiber, Chaim G. Pick*, Lior Bikovski*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a primary global health concern and one of the most common causes of neurological impairments in people under 50. Mild TBI (mTBI) accounts for the majority of TBI cases. Anxiety is the most common complaint after mTBI in humans. This study aims to evaluate behavioral tests designed to assess anxiety-like phenotypes in a mice model of mTBI. ICR mice underwent mTBI using the weight-drop model. Seven days post-injury, mice were subjected to one of five different behavioral tests: Elevated Plus Maze (EPM), Open Field apparatus (OF), Marble Burying test (MBT), Light Dark Box (LDB), and the Light Spot test within the PhenoTyper home cage (LS). In the EPM and OF tests, there were no significant differences between the groups. During the 30-min test period of the MBT, mTBI mice buried significantly more marbles than control mice. In the LDB, mTBI mice spent significantly less time on the far side of the arena than control mice. In addition, the time it took for mTBI mice to get to the far side of the arena was significantly longer compared to controls. Results of LS show significant within-group mean differences for total distance traveled for mTBI mice but not for the control. Furthermore, injured mice moved significantly more than control mice. According to the results, the anxiety traits exhibited by mTBI mice depend upon the time of exposure to the aversive stimulus, the apparatus, and the properties of the stressors used. Therefore, the characterization of anxiety-like behavior in mTBI mice is more complicated than was initially suggested. Based on our findings, we recommend incorporating a variety of stressors and test session lengths when assessing anxiety-like behavior in experimental models of mTBI.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1140724
JournalFrontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
StatePublished - 2023


FundersFunder number
Ari and Regine Aprijaskis Fund347300-00
Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Center601133461
Sylvan Adams Sports Institute0601133671


    • PhenoTyper home cage
    • TBI
    • anxiety
    • behavior
    • elevated plus maze
    • marble burying test
    • mental disorders
    • open field


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