Summer Research Fellowship Programme of India's Science Academies

Pre-clinical behavioral analysis

Poornima A

SRM Institute of Science and Technology, Kattankulathur, Tamil Nadu 603203

Dr. Kailash Manda

Institute of Nuclear Medicine & Allied Sciences, Timarpur, Delhi, 110054


Behavioural neuroscience is the study of brain mechanisms underlying behaviour. It integrates different branches of biology like physiology, genetics and developmental studies to investigate how brain influences behaviour. It has an unparalleled role in fields like psychology, rehabilitation science and preclinical drug development. Rodents like mice and rats are generally used as pre-clinical models to study the effects of different experimental treatment on behaviour. Different research methods are used to understand the precise effects of the experimental treatment. One of the approaches is the use of behavioural paradigms to investigate treatment induced neurobiological changes in rodent models. Behavioural paradigms can be used to monitor their performance of various functions including motor function, coordination, exploratory behaviour and affective behaviour. Open field test (OFT) and Novel Object Recognition test (NORT) are well established paradigms used for the measurement of locomotor activity, memory, anxious behaviour in rodents. The other research perspective is the microscopic approach, which deals with the histological analysis of tissue harvested after sacrificing the experimental animal. The tissue, fixed with a fixative and embedded in paraffin wax, is cut into sections using a microtome. These sections are then stained using specific stains depending on the part of intended tissue needed to be visualized under the microscope. A more specific approach is the immuno-histo chemistry (IHC), which uses the principle of antibodies binding specifically to antigens in biological tissues. With IHC, it is possible to visualize the distribution and localization of specific cells and cellular components within cells. Also, IHC results can be evaluated in both qualitative and quantitative manner. Ultimately, using all these methods, behavioural neuroscience aims to understand the influence of brain in behaviour in different conditions. This study tries to explore the different research methodologies of behavioural neuroscience with the “Immuno-histo chemistry” as its main focus.

Keywords: rodent models, behavioural paradigms, tissue fixation, immuno-histo chemistry

Written, reviewed, revised, proofed and published with