213 110 110 4 4 A. Rex C. A. Marsden H. Fink Department of Physiology and Pharmacology University of Nottingham Medical School, Queen's Medical Centre NG7 2UH Nottingham UK Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology Humboldt University P.O. Box 140 0-1040 Berlin Federal Republic of Germany Abstract Previous studies have used the elevated plus maze to test for “anxiolytic” drugs in rats. The present study demonstrates that guinea-pigs handled daily from birth exhibit similar behaviour to rats on the plus maze. Pretreatment with diazepam (1.0 mg/kg) significantly increased the time the animals spent in the open arms and amount of entries into the open arms. Using intra-cortical microdialysis on exposure of the guinea-pig to the elevated plus maze resulted in increased extracellular 5-HT in the frontal cortex. Diazepam reduced, but not significantly, the increase in extracellular 5-HT and produced an “anxiolytic” profile of behaviour. Pretreatment with the benzodiazepine antagonist flumazenil (10.0 mg/kg) fully antagonised the behavioural effects of diazepam. Flumazenil also reduced the effect of diazepam on the increase in extracellular 5-HT observed on exposure of the guinea-pig to the elevated plus maze. Flumazenil alone decreased basal extracellular cortical 5-HT but had no effect on behaviour in the elevated plus maze. The results show that an increase in extracellular 5-HT occurs in the guinea-pig exposed to aversive conditions. While it remains to be determined whether the “anxiolytic” effects of diazepam in the guinea-pig are causally associated with decreased extracellular 5-HT, it is of interest that the selective benzodiazepine antagonist also prevented the increase in basal extracellular 5-HT produced by the exposure to the elevated plus maze but had no effect on behaviour. Results indicate that there is no simple relationship between inhibition of 5-HT release and the “anxiolytic” action of benzodiazepines.
Psychopharmacology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 1, 1993
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