A review of the validity and variability of the Elevated Plus-Maze as an animal model of anxiety

A review of the validity and variability of the Elevated Plus-Maze as an animal model of anxiety Despite or possibly by virtue of the fact that it is one of the most commonly used animal models of anxiety the Elevated Plus-Maze (EPM) results in a wide range of, often contradictory, results following pharmacological experiments. The responses from a questionnaire distributed to 65 groups that have published studies using the EPM in the past 3 years has, along with reference to published reports, enabled some conclusions regarding the influencing factors to be drawn. Some evidence for differential sensitivities between strains exists, with albino rats being more sensitive to the anxiolytic effects of 5-HT 3 receptor antagonists and 5-HT 1A receptor agonists than pigmented animals. Most important, however, is the manipulation of the animals prior to testing and the aversiveness of the test conditions themselves. Stressing animals before testing (e.g., by moving from holding to test room) or using more aversive test conditions (e.g., elevated light levels) increases sensitivity to potential anxiolytics. Animals that are habituated to gentle handling or tested in less aversive conditions (e.g., EPM with ledges) show reduced likelihood of anxiolytic responses with administration of 5-HT 3 antagonists, 5-HT 1A agonists, and benzodiazepines. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior Elsevier

A review of the validity and variability of the Elevated Plus-Maze as an animal model of anxiety

Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, Volume 54 (1) – May 1, 1996

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 1996 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0091-3057
eISSN
1873-5177
DOI
10.1016/0091-3057(95)02126-4
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Despite or possibly by virtue of the fact that it is one of the most commonly used animal models of anxiety the Elevated Plus-Maze (EPM) results in a wide range of, often contradictory, results following pharmacological experiments. The responses from a questionnaire distributed to 65 groups that have published studies using the EPM in the past 3 years has, along with reference to published reports, enabled some conclusions regarding the influencing factors to be drawn. Some evidence for differential sensitivities between strains exists, with albino rats being more sensitive to the anxiolytic effects of 5-HT 3 receptor antagonists and 5-HT 1A receptor agonists than pigmented animals. Most important, however, is the manipulation of the animals prior to testing and the aversiveness of the test conditions themselves. Stressing animals before testing (e.g., by moving from holding to test room) or using more aversive test conditions (e.g., elevated light levels) increases sensitivity to potential anxiolytics. Animals that are habituated to gentle handling or tested in less aversive conditions (e.g., EPM with ledges) show reduced likelihood of anxiolytic responses with administration of 5-HT 3 antagonists, 5-HT 1A agonists, and benzodiazepines.

Journal

Pharmacology Biochemistry and BehaviorElsevier

Published: May 1, 1996

References

  • Anxiolytic-like effect induced by chronic stress is reversible by naloxone pretreatment
    Cancela, L.M.; Bregonzio, C.; Molina, V.A.
  • Ethological evaluation of the effects of acute and chronic buspirone treatment in the murine elevated plus-maze test: Comparison with haloperidol.
    Cole, J.C.; Rodgers, R.J.
  • The influence of open arm ledges and maze experience in the elevated plus-maze
    Fernandes, C.; File, S.E.
  • The use of a plus-maze to measure anxiety in the mouse
    Lister, R.
  • Effects of blockade of 5-HT 2 receptors and activation of 5-HT 1A receptors on the exploratory activity of rats in the elevated plus-maze
    Motta, V.; Maisonette, S.; Morato, S.; Castrechini, P.; Brandao, M.L.
  • Factor analysis of spatiotemporal and ethological measures in the murine elevated plus-maze test of anxiety
    Rodgers, R.J.; Johnson, N.J.T.
  • Effects of diazepam on behavioural and antinociceptive responses to the elevated-plus maze in male mice depend upon treatment regimen and prior maze experience
    Rodgers, R.J.; Lee, C.; Shepherd, J.K.

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