The Effects of Chronic High Fat Diet Exposure on Anxiety-Like Behavior in Male and Female C57BL/6J Mice

Student Classification


Faculty Mentor

Dr. Antoniette Maldonado-Devincci



Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2019


Poor-diet knowingly has a great association with mood and anxiety disorders. To-date we have discovered an association with high-fat diet and anxiety-like behavior. In our lab we created an experience in which C57BL/6J mice are placed on a high-fat diet (45% fat) to determine its effect on anxiety-like and depressive behavior. For the first week, nothing is done to the mice then anxiety-like tests are run after the one week period. Rodents naturally have exploratory behavior in new environments, as well as an aversion to brightly illuminated areas. An experiment known as the light-dark test assess anxiety-like behavior. Animals showing high levels of anxiety will spend less time in the light chamber. There are two computer analyzed box chambers that are halfway sectioned into a dark box side and a light side in which an overhead lamp light shines. Mice are first placed into the dark box side with a blockade preventing light-side entrance. The mouse is first allowed to acclimate to the new space then the blockade is removed and the analysis begins. The mouse is allowed to travel into the light side and back into the dark side as it pleases. The results from the Light-Dark experiment relayed a significant difference in the distance traveled on the light side; control mice had a significantly greater distance traveled, averaging about 600 cm, compared to the high-fat diet mice, averaging about 150 cm traveled in the light. This data shows that high-fat diet mice averted traveling in the light.

This document is currently not available here.