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Differences in central noradrenergic and behavioural responses of Maudsley non-reactive and Maudsley reactive inbred rats on exposure to an aversive novel environment

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Richard McQuade


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The present experiments compared the noradrenaline and behavioural responses of inbred Maudsley reactive (MR) and non-reactive (MNRA) rats when they are exposed to the light or dark arena of a light/dark shuttle-box. Behavioural scores confirmed that both strains of rats perceived the light arena to be more aversive than the dark one. Using in vivo microdialysis, exposure to the light, but not the dark, arena was found to increase noradrenaline efflux in both the frontal cortex and the hypothalamus of MNRA and MR rats. However, whereas the increase in the frontal cortex of both strains and the hypothalamus of MR rats was transient, the hypothalamic response in MNRA rats was maintained throughout exposure to the test zone. Strain differences in activity/visit and time/visit were evident but it was not possible to discern whether this could be attributed to the strain difference in the hypothalamic noradrenaline response. Nevertheless, it remains possible that, by comparison with MR rats, the prolonged noradrenaline response in the hypothalamus of MNRA rats could contribute to their well-documented, greater resistance to aversive environmental stimuli.

Publication metadata

Author(s): McQuade R, Clare Stanford S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Neurochemistry

Year: 2001

Volume: 76

Issue: 1

Pages: 21-28

ISSN (print): 0022-3042

ISSN (electronic): 1471-4159

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1046/j.1471-4159.2001.00003.x

PubMed id: 11145974


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