Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2011 Jan;97(3):406-15. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2010.09.013. Epub 2010 Sep 24.

Comparison of the elevated plus and elevated zero mazes in treated and untreated male Sprague-Dawley rats: effects of anxiolytic and anxiogenic agents.

Author information

Division of Neurology (MLC 7044), Cincinnati Children's Research Foundation and Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, 3333 Burnet Ave., Cincinnati, Ohio 45229-3039, USA.


The elevated plus and zero mazes (Plus and Zero, respectively) are used to assess behavior related to anxiety in rodents but direct comparisons of the two tests are lacking for rats. We compared the two methods in adult male Sprague-Dawley rats. Untreated rats in the Zero spent more time in open zones and exhibited more head dips than in the Plus whereas start latency and closed area entries were lower in the Zero than in the Plus. Diazepam (1 mg/kg) exposure increased time in the open in both mazes. Restraint (60 min prior to testing), yohimbine (2.5 mg/kg), and caffeine (100 mg/kg) had the opposite effect, significantly decreasing time spent in open zones in both mazes. No sexual dimorphism in behavior was seen in either maze in untreated rats. Although more open area time was evident in untreated animals in the Zero, after drug challenge both mazes detected anxiolytic and anxiogenic effects equally. Zero maze data can be analyzed directly because no center region exists; otherwise the two methods appear comparable following challenge.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center