The gerbil social interaction test has previously detected anxiolytic effects of nicotine and diazepam. In the present study, the high affinity substance P (NK 1 ) receptor antagonist L-760735 (3 mg/kg) significantly increased the time spent in social interaction, whereas its low affinity analogue L-781773 (3 mg/kg) was without effect. Diazepam (0.1 mg/kg) and the 5-HT 1A receptor agonist 8-OH-DPAT (0.003 and 0.01 mg/kg) also increased social interaction, whereas an acute dose of the selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor fluoxetine (10 mg/kg) decreased the time spent in social interaction. Diazepam (0.1 mg/kg) significantly increased locomotor activity, but this effect was independent of the increase in social interaction. The other drugs tested were without effect on locomotor activity. The present findings suggest that the gerbil social interaction may well provide a useful assay for detecting both anxiolytic and anxiogenic compounds, and suggests that the high affinity NK 1 receptor antagonist L-760735 may prove to be useful as an anxiolytic therapy.
Brain Research – Elsevier
Published: Oct 12, 2001
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