A Summary Of The Impact Of Handling And Sex Differences In Rats

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The effects of handling and sex differences in rats on anxiety was tested using an elevated plus maze. This experiment was conducted to determine the impact of handling and sex on the level of anxiety in 60 day old rats. 24 rats were separated into groups based on sex and whether or not they were handled. The effects of handling on anxiety was determined by placing the rats in an elevated plus maze for 5 minutes and observing how they explored. This study showed that handling had an impact on anxiety while there were no differences across sex. The handled rats showed less anxiety when compared to the non-handled rats and this was demonstrated by the amount of time spent in the closed arms of the elevated plus maze. This means that rats that …show more content…
The outcome of handling in this study looks at anxiety level. There are studies to assess various factors such as handling, drugs, and malnutrition on anxiety levels in rats. Handling shows a decrease in anxiety level in adolescent rats, improvement of cognitive behavior, and a decrease norepinephrine levels (Costa et al., 2012). It is also known that malnutrition leads to higher impulsivity and lower anxiety when rats explore an elevated plus maze (Soares et al. 2013). A separate study conducted by Yan et al. (2015) on postpartum female rats finds that dams entered open arms more than nulliparous rats. Fish et al. (2006) find a differential gene expression in female rats based on whether or not they were licked as pups. However, there are no studies that take sex into consideration when looking at the effects of handling on anxiety level. The goal of this study is to determine the effects of handling and sex on anxiety level by testing rats in an elevated plus maze. If a female rat is handled it will spend more time in the open arms and make more open arm entries than the non-handled group, thus exhibiting lower anxiety …show more content…
Six rats were brought into the standard classroom and remained in cages until they were ready to be put into the maze one at a time. A rat was first placed in the center of the maze and had the opportunity to explore for five minutes. After five minutes the rat was taken out of the maze and returned to its cage. Data was collected for how many seconds the rat was in the closed arms, how many seconds the rat was in the open arms, how many times the rat entered the closed arms, and how may times the rat entered the open arms. The maze was cleaned with alcohol in between each trial in order to prevent the rats from smelling the previous run. These steps were repeated until all six of the rats were tested. These steps were also followed by each lab section until all 24 rats were

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