Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Anxiety-like behavior in invertebrates opens research avenues

Date:
June 20, 2014
Source:
CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange)
Summary:
For the first time, researchers have produced and observed anxiety-like behavior in crayfish, which disappears when a dose of anxiolytic is injected. This work shows that the neuronal mechanisms related to anxiety have been preserved throughout evolution. This analysis of ancestral behavior in a simple animal model opens up new avenues for studying the neuronal bases for this emotion. Anxiety can be defined as a behavioral response to stress, consisting in lasting apprehension of future events.

For the first time, CNRS researchers and the Université de Bordeaux have produced and observed anxiety-like behavior in crayfish, which disappears when a dose of anxiolytic is injected.
Credit: Jean-Paul Delbecque

For the first time, CNRS researchers and the Université de Bordeaux have produced and observed anxiety-like behavior in crayfish, which disappears when a dose of anxiolytic is injected. This work, published in Science on June 13, 2014, shows that the neuronal mechanisms related to anxiety have been preserved throughout evolution. This analysis of ancestral behavior in a simple animal model opens up new avenues for studying the neuronal bases for this emotion.

Anxiety can be defined as a behavioral response to stress, consisting in lasting apprehension of future events. It prepares individuals to detect threats and anticipate them appropriately so as to increase their chances of survival. However, when stress is chronic, anxiety becomes pathological and may lead to depression.

Until now, non-pathological anxiety had only been described in humans and a few vertebrates. For the first time, it has been observed in an invertebrate. To achieve this, researchers at the Institut de Neurosciences Cognitives et Intégratives d'Aquitaine (CNRS/Université de Bordeaux) and the Institut des Maladies Neurodégénératives (CNRS/Université de Bordeaux) repeatedly exposed crayfish to an electric field for thirty minutes. They then placed the crayfish in an aquatic cross-shaped maze. Two arms of the maze were lit up (which repels the crustaceans) and two were dark-which they find reassuring.

The researchers analyzed the exploratory behavior of the crayfish. Those made anxious tended to remain in the dark areas of the maze, by contrast to control crayfish, which explored the entire maze. This behavior is an adaptive response to a felt stress: the animal aims to minimize the risk of meeting an attacker. This emotional state wore itself out after about one hour.

Anxiety in crayfish is correlated to increased serotonin concentration in their brains. Neurotransmitter serotonin is involved in regulating many physiological processes in both invertebrates and humans. It is released when stress is experienced and regulates several responses related to anxiety, such as increasing blood glucose levels. The researchers have also highlighted that injecting an anxiolytic commonly used in humans (benzodiazepine) stops the prevention behavior in crayfish. This shows how early neural mechanisms that trigger or inhibit anxiety-like behavior appeared in the evolutionary process and that they have been well preserved over time.

This work provides researchers specializing in stress and anxiety with a unique animal model. Crayfish have a simple nervous system whose neurons are easy to record, so they may shed light on the neuronal mechanisms at work when stress is experienced, as well as on the role of neurotransmitters such as serotonin or GABA. The team now plans to study anxiety in crayfish subject to social stress and the neuronal changes that occur when the anxiety is prolonged for several days.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. P. Fossat, J. Bacque-Cazenave, P. De Deurwaerdere, J.-P. Delbecque, D. Cattaert. Anxiety-like behavior in crayfish is controlled by serotonin. Science, 2014; 344 (6189): 1293 DOI: 10.1126/science.1248811

Cite This Page:

CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange). "Anxiety-like behavior in invertebrates opens research avenues." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140620103131.htm>.
CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange). (2014, June 20). Anxiety-like behavior in invertebrates opens research avenues. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140620103131.htm
CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange). "Anxiety-like behavior in invertebrates opens research avenues." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140620103131.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) — More and more studies are showing positive benefits to playing video games, but the jury is still out on brain training programs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) — Research from Washington University suggest people with conscientious spouses have greater career success. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) — Researchers say certain markers in the blood can predict risk of psychosis later in the life. The test can aid in early treatment for the condition. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Harpist Soothes Gorillas, Orangutans With Music

Harpist Soothes Gorillas, Orangutans With Music

AP (Sep. 25, 2014) — Teri Tacheny, a harpist, has a loyal following of fans who appreciate her soothing music. Every month, gorillas, orangutans and monkeys amble down to hear her play at the Como Park Zoo in Minnesota. (Sept. 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins