Long term effects of benzylpiperazine and possible amelioration by environmental enrichment
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
Adolescents have a proclivity for risk taking and novelty seeking which can lead to BZP use and this can be damaging to the maturing brain. BZP is commonly consumed within party pills alongside TFMPP for its amphetamine like qualities and has the potential to be addictive. Therefore, it is important to study long term effects of BZP of which anxiety has been previously shown. The aim of this study was to investigate long term effects of BZP on anxiety and memory and to determine if attenuation by environmental enrichment is possible (because enrichment has demonstrated this with other drugs). 120 PVG/c rats of equal sex were housed in either enriched or standard caging and exposed to either saline, 10mg/kg or 20mg/kg BZP PND 41. They were then tested in a Y maze, elevated plus maze, light dark box and open field after PND 60 and PND 100 with two days in between each test. The results of this study showed BZP may affect memory but not after PND 100, anxiety may also be present depending on the apparatus used and sex of the animal, however results were conflicting. Lastly enrichment showed some memory enhancing capabilities and anxiolytic properties which further varied across apparatus. In conclusion BZP may decrease memory and increase anxiety over time but due to conflicting results needs further investigation. Similarly, although enrichment improved memory performance and decreased anxiety for some measures it also showed opposite reactions in others therefore further investigation is also needed of enrichment.