Strain-dependent effects of acute caffeine on anxiety-related behavior in PVG/c, Long-Evans and Wistar rats (2016)
To assess the possibility that acute caffeine’s behavioral action might depend on rats’ strain, effects of 50 mg/kg of the drug were observed on activity, anxiety-related behavior and habituation learning in male and female rats from three different strains, namely PVG/c, Long-Evans and Wistar. All subjects were tested in an open field, an elevated plus maze and a light-dark box. For the three strains combined, increased occupancy of the center of the open field and entries of the open plus-maze arms with caffeine suggested caffeine-induced anxiolysis, whereas increased grooming in the open field, decreased rearing in the plus maze and increased risk assessment in the light-dark box were consistent with anxiogenesis. Caffeine also reduced open-field rearing only for PVG/c rats, and entries into and occupation of the light side of the light-dark box only for Long-Evans rats, and increased total defecation in the three types of apparatus for all three strains combined. Overall, caffeine appeared to be mainly anxiogenic. The drug also increased open-field ambulation for PVG/c rats and walking for all rats, but decreased open-field ambulation and entries into the plus maze closed arms for Wistar rats alone. In general, Wistar rats appeared to be the least and Long-Evans the most anxious of the three strains investigated. Caffeine also decreased within-session habituation of open-field ambulation for PVG/c rats alone, thereby suggesting strain-dependent interference with non-associative learning and short-term memory. Several overall sex differences were also observed that supported female rats being more active and less anxious than males.
CitationHughes, R.N., Hancock, N.J. (2016) Strain-dependent effects of acute caffeine on anxiety-related behavior in PVG/c, Long-Evans and Wistar rats. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, 140, pp. 51-61.
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KeywordsPVG/c Long-Evans Wistar rats; Caffeine; Habituation; Anxiety; Memory; Sex differences
ANZSRC Fields of Research17 - Psychology and Cognitive Sciences::1701 - Psychology::170101 - Biological Psychology (Neuropsychology, Psychopharmacology, Physiological Psychology)
31 - Biological sciences::3109 - Zoology::310901 - Animal behaviour
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