Emotional and exploratory responses in male Formosan wood mice

[Speaker] Shu-Chuan Yang:1
[Co-author] Hsien-Yong Lai:2, Kun-Ruey Shieh:3
1:Holistic Education Center, Tzu Chi University of Science and Technology, Taiwan, 2:Division of Anesthesiology, Mennonite Christian Hospital, Taiwan, 3:Department of Physiology, Tzu Chi University, Taiwan

The native Formosan wood mouse (Apodemus semotus) is the dominant rodent in Taiwan and lives in areas 1400-3700 meters in elevation. Most of researches related to wood mice were to study the ecological or reproductive behaviors. Similar to the natural environment, Formosan wood mice show high locomotor activity, including jumping, searching and exploratory behaviors in the laboratory environment. Whether the emotional and exploratory responses in Formosan wood mice were different to those in common laboratory C57BL/6 mice is unclear. The present study used the behavioral tests to study this issue. These tests included the elevated plus maze and marble burying tests. Compared with C57BL/6 mice in the elevated plus maze test, the total distance of movement significantly increased with male Formosan wood mice, but no difference in movement was observed in the center. In both closed arms and open arms, the distance moved by male Formosan wood mice was significantly greater than that of C57BL/6 mice. The number of entries and time spent in open arms were significantly greater for male Formosan wood mice than for male C57BL/6 mice. In the marble burying test, male Formosan wood mice buried more marbles and had greater duration in rearing behaviours than male C57BL/6 mice. However, for the two mice in the marble burying test, the latency to dig or/and bury and number of defecations were similar. Taken together, these results showed that male Formosan wood mice had higher activity and exploratory behaviors.
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