Behavioral and cellular assays relevant to mood. (a–c) Anxiety was assayed in the open field (OF) and the elevated plus maze (EPM). (a) Animals were placed inside the OF chamber for 30 min following 7 weeks of (−)epicatechin (EC) consumption. The ratio of time spent and of distance (DIST) travelled by EC subjects in the center of the chamber, relative to the periphery, was significantly higher than that of controls (CON). (b) Total distance travelled in the OF did not differ between the groups. (c) In the EPM, subjects consuming EC displayed no preference between the open or closed arms, whereas CON animals spent a significantly greater amount of time in the closed arms than in the open arms. (d and e) Hippocampi and cortices were assayed for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), monoamine oxidase (MAO)-A and MAO-B. (d) EC-consuming animals evinced significantly greater hippocampal expression of TH. (e) Increased expression of TH and a reduction in MAO-A was observed in the cortices of EC-supplemented animals (*P<0.05). GADPH, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase. Error bars denote s.e.m.