Author(s): RebolledoSolleiro D, CrespoRamrez M, RoldnRoldn G, Hiriart M, Prez de la Mora M
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Abstract Conflicting results have been obtained by several groups when studying the effects of streptozotocin (STZ)-treated rats in the elevated plus-maze (EPM). Since thirst is a prominent feature in STZ-induced diabetic-like condition, we studied whether the walls of the closed arms of the EPM, by limiting the search for water in the environment, may contribute to the observed differential behavioral outcomes. The aim of this study was to ascertain whether visual barriers within the EPM have an influence on the behavior of STZ-treated rats in this test of anxiety. A striking similarity between STZ-treated (50 mg/kg, i.p., in two consecutive days) and water deprived rats (72 h) was found in exploratory behavior in the EPM, showing an anxiolytic-like profile. However the anxiolytic response of STZ-treated rats exposed to the EPM shifts into an anxiogenic profile when they are subsequently tested in the open-field test, which unlike the EPM is devoid of visual barriers. Likewise, water deprived rats (72 h) also showed an anxiogenic profile when they were exposed to the open-field test. Our results indicate that experimental outcomes based on EPM observations can be misleading when studying physiological or pathological conditions, e.g. diabetes, in which thirst may increase exploratory behavior. © 2013.
This article was published in Physiol Behav
and referenced in Anatomy & Physiology: Current Research