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Behavioral and endocrine responses of socially isolated rats to long-term diazepam treatment

Author(s): Dronjak Slađana | Spasojević Nataša | Gavrilović Ljubica | Varagić V.

Journal: Acta Veterinaria
ISSN 0567-8315

Volume: 57;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 291;
Date: 2007;
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Keywords: diazepam | social isolation | grooming | catecholamines | corticosterone | ACTH

The effects of diazepam (0.2 mg/kg/ during 21 days, i.p.) on behavior, pituitary-adrenocortical and sympatho-adrenomedullary system of socially isolated and group-housed adult male rats additionally exposed to immobilization, were studied. Social isolation led to a shorter duration of grooming and longer latency to start grooming. Diazepam in social isolated rats reduced incorrect transitions percentage, but the number of grooming bouts, duration and latency to start grooming remained unchanged. Long-term isolation significantly elevated plasma ACTH and corticosterone, while not affecting noradrenaline and adrenaline. Diazepam decreased only plasma ACTH. Social isolation and immobilization significantly elevated all examined hormones. Immobilization of diazepam-treated isolated rats enhanced plasma ACTH , the increase being significantly lower, comparing to isolated vehicle-treated rats. Immobilization significantly increased plasma adrenaline, noradrenaline and corticosterone of diazepam- or vehicle-treated socially isolated rats. No differences in adrenaline, noradrenaline and corticosterone level between these two groups were observed. This indicates that chronic diazepam treatment of socially isolated rats changes some grooming behavior parameters, but insignificantly affects stress-related adrenomedullary and adrenocortical alterations.
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