Effects of reversible inactivation of the medial septum on rat exploratory behavior in the elevated plus-maze using a test–retest paradigm
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The effect of intraseptal injections of lidocaine before a first or a second session in the elevated plus-maze, in a test-retest paradigm, was investigated. In addition to gross session analyses, a minute-by-minute analysis of the sessions was used to evaluate both anxiety and memory. Lidocaine injections before the test session produced increases in the frequency of entries, time spent and distance run in the open arms without affecting activity occurring in the closed arms. During the retest session, saline- and lidocaine-treated rats exhibited increased indices of anxiety and lidocaine-treated rats exhibited decreased closed-arm entries. The minute-by-minute analysis showed a faster decrease in anxiety-related behaviors during the test session by saline- than by lidocaine-treated rats and a significant decrease in closed-arm exploration by saline-treated rats, but not by lidocaine-treated ones. Lidocaine injection before the retest session produced increases in the frequency of entries, time spent and distance run in the open arms in the second session when compared with saline-treated rats. Minute-by-minute analysis showed an increase in the time spent in the open arms by lidocaine animals at the beginning of the retest session in comparison to saline animals and a significant decrease in closed-arm exploration by both groups. These results suggest that inactivation of the medial septum by lidocaine affects the expression of unconditioned and conditioned forms of anxiety in the elevated plus-maze and, in a lesser way, the acquisition and retention of spatial information.
Behavioural Brain Research Volume 210, Issue 1, 26 June 2010, Pages 67-73