Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research
versão On-line ISSN 1414-431X
BUENO, C.H.; ZANGROSSI JR., H. e VIANA, M.B.. The inactivation of the basolateral nucleus of the rat amygdala has an anxiolytic effect in the elevated T-maze and light/dark transition tests. Braz J Med Biol Res [online]. 2005, vol.38, n.11, pp. 1697-1701. ISSN 1414-431X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-879X2005001100019.
Pharmacological evidence indicates that the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA) is involved in the mediation of inhibitory avoidance but not of escape behavior in the elevated T-maze test. These defensive responses have been associated with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and panic disorder, respectively. In the present study, we determined whether the BLA plays a differential role in the control of inhibitory avoidance and escape responses in the elevated T-maze. Male Wistar rats (250-280 g, N = 9-10 in each treatment group) were pre-exposed to one of the open arms of the maze for 30 min and 24 h later tested in the model after inactivation of the BLA by a local injection of the GABAA receptor agonist muscimol (8 nmol in 0.2 µL). It has been shown that a prior forced exposure to one of the open arms of the maze, by shortening latencies to withdrawal from the open arm during the test, improves the escape task as a behavioral index of panic. The effects of muscimol in the elevated T-maze were compared to those caused by this GABA agonist in the avoidance reaction generated in the light/dark transition test. This defensive behavior has also been associated with GAD. In the elevated T-maze, intra-BLA injection of muscimol impaired inhibitory avoidance (control: 187.70 ± 14.90 s, muscimol: 37.10 ± 2.63 s), indicating an anxiolytic effect, without interfering with escape performance. The drug also showed an anxiolytic effect in the light/dark transition test as indicated by the increase in the time spent in the lighted compartment (control: 23.50 ± 2.45 s, muscimol: 47.30 ± 4.48 s). The present findings point to involvement of the BLA in the modulation of defensive responses that have been associated with GAD.
Palavras-chave : Muscimol; Generalized anxiety disorder; Panic disorder; Amygdala; Elevated T-maze; Light/dark transition test in the rat.