Taming anxiety in laboratory mice

Nat Methods. 2010 Oct;7(10):825-6. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.1500. Epub 2010 Sep 12.


Routine laboratory animal handling has profound effects on their anxiety and stress responses, but little is known about the impact of handling method. We found that picking up mice by the tail induced aversion and high anxiety, whereas use of tunnels or open hand led to voluntary approach, low anxiety and acceptance of physical restraint. Using the latter methods, one can minimize a widespread source of anxiety in laboratory mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anxiety / prevention & control*
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Behavior, Animal*
  • Female
  • Handling, Psychological*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Restraint, Physical / methods*
  • Restraint, Physical / psychology
  • Species Specificity