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Brain Res Bull. 2007 Sep 14;74(1-3):45-50. Epub 2007 May 29.

Pharmacological modulation of anxiety-related behaviors in the murine Suok test.

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Department of Anatomy, Medical School, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland.


We have recently introduced a new model of anxiety--the Suok test and its light-dark modification--for behavioral characterization in mice and rats, including simultaneous assessment of their anxiety, activity, and neurological phenotypes. In the present study, testing different inbred (129S1, BALB/c) and hybrid (C57-129S1) mouse strains in both Suok test modifications, we examined the effects on anxiety-related behaviours produced by traditional anxiogenic and anxiolytic drugs. Here we show dose-dependent increases in anxiety-related behaviors produced by anxiogenic drug pentylenetetrazole (10 and 20 mg/kg). In contrast, anxiolytic drugs ethanol (0.75 and 1.5 g/kg) and diazepam (0.5 mg/kg) reduced anxiety and increased mouse exploration in this test. Hyperemotional anxious BALB/c mice were particularly sensitive to pharmacogenic anxiety in Suok test, also showing robust light-dark shifts in the light-dark version of this test. Overall, the results of this study confirm the potential utility of both murine Suok tests, especially when used in selected "sensitive" mouse strains, for high-throughput screening of potential anxiotropic drugs.

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