Male and female wild-type C57Bl/6 mice (3–4 weeks‐old) were purchased from The Jackson Laboratory (Bar Harbor, ME, US), and housed at Texas Tech University’ animal facility. Mice were group housed (4–5 same-sex mice/cage) in ventilated cages in a temperature‐controlled room (21–23 °C) with 12:12 h light/dark light cycle (lights on 07:00–19:00), humidity of 40–60%, and food and water available ad libitum. All experiments and procedures were performed observing the Animal Research: Reporting of In Vivo Experiments (ARRIVE) guidelines and following relevant guidelines and regulations approved by the Texas Tech University Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).

Mice were randomly assigned to control or HSD groups and were fed chow supplemented with 0.1% NaCl (Control, Teklad Custom Diet TD-94268) or 8% NaCl (HSD, Teklad Custom Diet TD-180241) respectively for 8 weeks. Both diets contained ~ 23% calories from protein, 62% from carbohydrate and ~ 15% from fat. The HSD groups were also given 1% NaCl in their drinking water whereas the control groups drank regular tap water. After 8 weeks male and female mice were used for behavioral assays while others were paired for breeding. All the experiments were performed in a separate room adjacent to the room where mice were housed.

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