Home cage testing of schizophrenia-like Wisket rats
The impaired social behavior is a well-known phenomenon in schizophrenia. Recently increased aggression and decreased social activity were observed in the schizophrenia-like Wisket rats in a short-lasting social interaction test. However, it could not be excluded that their inappropriate adaptation to the new environment (testing chamber) could influence the results. The goal of the present study was to characterize the general activity and social behavior of Wisket rats in a less stressed circumstance, specifically in their large home cage. Group housed (3 animals/group) male Wistar and Wisket rats were involved the study. The animals’ behavior in large home-cages with three floors and environmental enrichment (running wheel, toys) was continuously recorded by an infrared video device. Several parameters related to social and general activities were determined during the first and second hours of the dark phase. Both groups displayed high activity during the analyzed period, including the exploration of the environmental enrichments and the social contacts, too. A trend for increased activity was detected in the Wisket animals without increased aggression.These preliminary data suggest that in contrast the observed findings in new environment for short period, Wisket animals displayed a slight hyperactivity in their home-cage. The increased stress sensitivity, characteristic to schizophrenia, could explain the altered aggression in different test conditions. Further experiments are designed regarding the investigation of the cognitive functions in such circumstance. Support: GINOP 2.3.3-15-2016-00031.