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Light Dark Transition Assay and Anxiety Model
Anxiety is a psychological and physiological state characterized by cognitive, somatic, emotional, and behavioral components. When rodents are given the opportunity to explore novel environments, they display a typical exploration pattern generally preferring the perimeter of a dimly lit environment to a brightly lit environment.

By exploiting rodent’s innate spontaneous exploratory behavior and aversion to brightly lit areas, the light-dark transitions assay can be used to identify drugs that alter anxiety levels. In the light-dark transition assay, a rodent is placed in a chamber with the option to explore a brightly lit area or darkened area. By quantifying the amount of time, we can monitor exploratory as well as anxiogenic or anxiolytic behavior.

 

    

The above graph depicts a dose dependent increase in the amount of time spent in well light areas following the administration of diazepam (A), a potent anxiolytic. The increased latency in well light areas is indicative of decreased anxiety.  Treatment with diazepam increases the number of transitions between light and dark areas in animals treated with 2mg and 4mg diazepam.  Animals treated with 6mg diazepam attenuated the number of transitions compared to vehicle-treated animals.  Data are mean ± SEM; *p<0.05, **p<0.01 compared to vehicle.

If you are interested in learning more about Light Dark Transitions, please contact models@meliordiscovery.com to start the conversation.