Document Detail

A simple procedure for assessing ataxia in rats: effects of phencyclidine.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11900779     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The present study describes an objective, cost- and time-efficient procedure for characterizing the ataxic effects of psychoactive drugs. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were administered an intraperitoneal injection of either saline or one of three doses (1, 5 or 10 mg/kg) of phencyclidine (PCP) 15 min prior to being placed into an empty standard operant conditioning chamber (all manipulanda were removed). The floor of the test apparatus consisted of parallel rows of metal rods spaced approximately 1.5 cm apart. During a 5-min test, a single observer counted the frequency with which each animal's paws (front or back) slipped between the rows of bars that constituted the cage floor. The data demonstrated that while saline animals exhibited no instability in their ambulation, PCP-treated animals demonstrated a highly reliable dose-dependent increase in the number of "paw slips" in a single trial. Since animals are known to develop tolerance to the ataxic response to PCP, the validity of the test as a measure of drug-induced ataxia was examined in a separate group of animals treated with the middle (5 mg/kg) dose every other day over the course of a 9-day period (i.e., resulting in five injection trials). In this experiment, each subsequent test produced a reliable reduction in the magnitude of the ataxic response, and by the fifth drug challenge, the PCP animals were performing at near-control levels. These results suggest that the "paw slip test" can serve as a simple, reliable, objective and valid measure of drug-induced ataxia. The relevance of the ataxia data for interpreting the locomotor response of animals treated with PCP is also discussed.
Susan M Melnick; Jennifer S Rodriguez; Rick E Bernardi; Aaron Ettenberg
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Pharmacology, biochemistry, and behavior     Volume:  72     ISSN:  0091-3057     ISO Abbreviation:  Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav.     Publication Date:  2002 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2002-03-19     Completed Date:  2003-10-21     Revised Date:  2007-11-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0367050     Medline TA:  Pharmacol Biochem Behav     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  125-30     Citation Subset:  IM    
Behavioral Pharmacology Laboratory, Department of Psychology, University of California-Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9660, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Ataxia / chemically induced*,  diagnosis*
Conditioning, Operant / drug effects*,  physiology
Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
Phencyclidine / toxicity*
Rats, Sprague-Dawley
Reproducibility of Results
Research Design* / standards
Grant Support
Reg. No./Substance:

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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