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Neuroreport. 1995 Jul 10;6(10):1413-6.

Inhibition of nitric oxide synthase causes anxiolytic-like behaviour in an elevated plus-maze.

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Institute of Physiology, Tartu University, Estonia.


The action of inhibition of nitric oxide (NO) synthase by NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) (1-20 mg kg-1) on the exploratory behaviour of rats in the elevated plus-maze was studied. L-NAME induced an anxiolytic-like effect in the plus-maze test, showing a reverse U-shape action behaviour, with a maximal effect at 10 mg kg-1. This effect was not related to a non-specific increase in motor activity, since in the open field test L-NAME did not affect locomotor activity of rats. Pretreatment of rats with L-NAME (1-10 mg kg-1) also tended to attenuate the anti-exploratory action of CCK agonist caerulein (5 micrograms kg-1), but this action was not significant. In conclusion, it appears that NO may be involved in the process that can lead to anxiety in the rat.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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