The effects of diazepam on the behavioral structure of the rat's response to pain in the hot-plate test: Anxiolysis vs. pain modulation

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Abstract

The aim of the present study was to evaluate, by means of quantitative and multivariate analyses, the effects of diazepam on the behavioral structure of the rat's response to pain in the hot-plate test as well as whether such changes are associated with drug-induced effects on anxiety and/or nociception. To this purpose, ten groups of male Wistar rats were intraperitoneally injected with saline, diazepam (0.25, 0.5 and 2 mg/kg), FG-7142 (1, 4 and 8 mg/kg) or morphine (3, 6 and 12 mg/kg). The mean number and mean latency to first appearance were calculated for each behavioral component. In addition, multivariate cluster and adjusted residual analyses based on the elaboration of transition matrices were performed. Three main behavioral categories were identified: exploratory (walking, sniffing), primary noxious-evoked (hind paw licking, front paw licking, shaking/stamping) and escape (climbing, jumping). Although no significant modifications in the latencies of the primary noxious-evoked components were induced by treatment with diazepam or FG-7142, significant effects were provoked by morphine treatment. Multivariate analyses showed that diazepam-induced anxiolysis redirected the rat's behavior toward a more purposeful and effective escape strategy. In contrast, the high level of anxiety induced by FG-7142 caused the behavioral structure to become disorganized and not purposefully oriented. Changes in the organization of behavioral components were observed in morphine-treated animals and mainly consisted of modifications in the primary noxious-evoked and escape components. The findings suggest that the effects of diazepam on the structure of the rat's response to pain in the hot-plate test are more likely attributable to anxiolysis than pain modulation.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)310-321
Numero di pagine12
RivistaNeuropharmacology
Volume63
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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