An evaluation of the accelerating rotorod and a light-dark apparatus as sensitive techniques for measuring sedation and anxiolysis
Meyer, Robert C.
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Female Swiss albino mice were tested on an accelerating rotorod and in a light-dark apparatus in order to measure the sedative and anxiolytic properties, respectively, of the putative nonsedative anxiolytics buspirone, premazepam, and C1218,872. Comparisons were made against mice injected with vehicle and mice treated with the sedative anxiolytic diazepam which was used as a standard. Ephedrine was included as a control for stimulant effects in the light-dark apparatus, and ethyl-beta-carboline-3- carboxylate was also used in the light-dark apparatus in an attempt to assess its presumed anxiogenic effects. The results from the accelerating rotorod indicated that buspirone, premazepam, and diazepam all produced significant, dose-dependent sedative effects, suggesting that the accelerating feature of the rotorod may provide a more sensitive test for sedation than most experimental techniques currently in use. The results from the light-dark apparatus were more variable. Of the drugs tested, only buspirone produced a significant anxiolytic response across all doses. Diazepam produced results that were contradictory with previous findings that used a similar apparatus and the same doses. Methodological considerations regarding this model of the anxiolytic response are discussed.