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Durham University

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Publication details for Dr P Chazot

Abuhamdah, R.M., Hussain, M.D., Chazot, P.L. & Ennaceur, A. (2015). Effects of chronic fluoxetine treatment on anxious behaviour of BALB/c mice in a 3-dimensional maze. Stress 18(6): 677-685.

Author(s) from Durham


Here we used a 3-dimensional (3D) maze, a modification of the radial maze, to assess the effects of treatment for two weeks with a single daily dose of fluoxetine (20 mg/kg, i.p.) on anxiety in male BALB/c mice. We examined whether anxiolytic effects of fluoxetine can be detected over three daily test sessions. We examined also whether repeated handling associated with chronic treatment interferes with effects of fluoxetine on anxiety responses. The 3D maze comprises nine arms, each connected to an upward inclined bridge radiating from a central platform. In this maze, BALB/c mice cross frequently into the bridges but avoid the arms. This avoidance is used as an index of anxiety. Two separate groups received once a day either saline (SALCH, n = 8) or fluoxetine (FLUCH, n = 8) for 14 days, and up to 30 min before the test during the subsequent 3 days. A third group received saline (SALAC, n = 8) 30 min before the test, once a day for 3 days. SALAC mice did not cross into the arms, and continued this avoidance over 3 sessions. SALCH mice avoided the arms in session 1 whereas FLUCH mice did cross into the arms, and like SALCH mice, increased number of crossings into and time on the arms in subsequent sessions. Fluoxetine evidently had an anxiolytic effect but only in the first session. These results indicate that handling experience decreased fear and anxiety in the mice, which may have masked the anxiolytic effect of fluoxetine in the second and third test sessions.