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Behav Brain Res. 2006 Oct 2;173(1):122-8. Epub 2006 Jul 24.

Effects of chlordiazepoxide on the emotional reactivity and motor capacities in the cerebellar Lurcher mutant mice.

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IFRMP 23, UPRES EA 1780, Equipe Neurobiologie de l'Apprentissage, Université de Rouen, Faculté des Sciences, 76821 Mont-Saint-Aignan Cedex, France.


It is now well accepted that besides its roles in motor control, the cerebellum is involved in non-motor functions with emotional aspects. Consistent with this view, several studies highlighted that the cerebellar Lurcher mutant mice (+/Lc), with motor impairments, also exhibited altered emotional reactivity, previously interpreted in term of behavioural disinhibition. In this study, we investigated the effects of a classical anxiolytic on such disinhibition. For that, behaviours of +/Lc and control (+/+) mice injected with NaCl or chlordiazepoxide (CDP 5 and 7.5mg/kg) were evaluated in the elevated plus-maze test. The motor impact of the drug (7.5mg/kg only) was also evaluated in the hole-board and unstable platform tests. Our results showed that, compared to the +/+ mice, CDP injection greatly influenced the anxious-related behaviours in the +/Lc mice by reducing their preference to the open areas in the elevated plus-maze test. Furthermore, we found that injection of CDP at the dose of 7.5mg/kg aggravated motor coordination deficit, altered motor learning capabilities in the mutants and provoked equilibrium disturbances in the non-mutant mice in the unstable platform test. These results indicated that CDP was able to reduce behavioural disinhibition in the cerebellar +/Lc mice and were discussed in term of implication of the cerebellar connections into CDP-sensitive neural circuitries involved in both emotional and motor processes.

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