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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. (2016). Pre-training in a radial arm maze abolished anxiety and impaired habituation in C57BL6/J mice treated with dizocilpine. Physiology & Behavior 164(Part A): 353-360.

Author(s) from Durham


Familiarity can imply a reduction of fear and anxiety, which may render learning and memory performance insensitive to NMDA receptor antagonism. Our previous study indicates that MK-801 (dizocilpine), NMDA antagonist, increased anxiety and prevented the acquisition of a spatial memory task. Here, we examined whether MK-801 will produce anxiety in mice that were familiar with the test environment.

Male C57BL/6J mice were exposed, one session a day for 7 days, to a 3D maze, which consisted of nine arms attached to upward inclined bridges radiating from a nonagonal platform. In this maze, high anxiety mice avoid the arms in the first sessions. One group of mice received saline (SAL) while a second group received MK-801 (MKD1), both on day one. A third group received saline in the first 3 sessions, and MK 801 in subsequent sessions (MKD4). Saline and MK-801 (0.1 mg/kg) were administered intraperitoneally 30 min before the test.

MKD4 mice demonstrated an increase in bridge and arm visits, and reached arm/bridge entries ratio close to 1 in session 5. SAL mice also crossed frequently onto the arms, and reached a comparable ratio, but this was achieved with a lower number of arm visits. MKD1 mice demonstrated a reduced number of arm visits in each session compared to SAL and MKD4 mice.

Dizocilpine produced anxiety in mice treated from day 1 of the test, but not in those treated from day 4. It also impaired habituation in animals familiar with the test environment; it produced sustained non-habituating hyperactivity.