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Scripta Scientifica Medica

An experimental model of alcohol-induced anxiety and depressive behaviour in rats

Stefka Valcheva-Kuzmanova, Miroslav Eftimov, Krasimir Kuzmanov


Behavioural symptoms of alcohol abuse often mimic various psychiatric disorders including anxiety and depression.

PURPOSE: The aim of the present study was to create a model of alcohol-induced of anxiety- and depressive-like behaviour in female Wistar rats using a subchronic (14 days) daily alcohol exposure.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Ethanol was applied at a daily dose of 8 g/kg. The following behavioural tests were used: open field test (OFT) for investigation of locomotor activity, elevated plus maze test (EPM) and social interaction test (SIT) for measurement of anxiety and forced swim test (FST) for estimation of depression-like behaviour.

RESULTS: Ethanol induced a significant reduction (p<0.01) in both horizontal and vertical locomotor activity of rats. In the ethanol group, the decreased time spent in the open arms of the EPM (p<0.05) and the decreased social interaction time (p<0.05) were consistent with anxiety-like effect of alcohol. The increased immobility time in the FST (p<0.01) showed that ethanol induced depression-like behaviour in rats.

CONCLUSION: The findings of the present study demonstrated that subchronic daily treatment of female Wistar rats with a relatively high dose of alcohol induced anxiogenic and depression-like behaviour. This animal model could be used for testing the anxiolytics and antidepressants for the treatment of alcohol-induced behavioural changes.

Scripta Scientifica Medica 2013; 45(3): 48-52.

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About The Authors

Stefka Valcheva-Kuzmanova
Medical University of Varna

Department of Preclinical and Clinical Pharmacology

Miroslav Eftimov
Medical University of Varna

Department of Preclinical and Clinical Pharmacology

Krasimir Kuzmanov
Medical University of Varna


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