Anxiety is the general term for several disorders that cause nervousness, fear, apprehension and worrying. These disorders affect how one feels and behaves, and they can manifest in real physical symptoms. Charles River conducts contract studies in mice using the marble burying task to assess the efficacy of novel anti-anxiety compounds, such as anxiolytics and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
Marble burying behavior gauges the level of anxiety in a mouse when it encounters unfamiliar objects. Marbles are placed evenly onto the walls of an empty cage. The mouse is treated with the vehicle or compound 30 minutes before the test. The animal is then placed in the cage containing the marbles. The number of marbles covered (at least 2/3 of area) is counted and the test cage is photographed.