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Effects of repeated asenapine in a battery of tests for anxiety-like behaviours in mice

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 September 2015

Hila M Ene
Affiliation:
Psychobiology Laboratory, School of Behavioral Sciences, Tel Aviv-Yaffo Academic College, Tel-Aviv, Israel Department of Psychology, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel
Nirit Z Kara
Affiliation:
Psychobiology Laboratory, School of Behavioral Sciences, Tel Aviv-Yaffo Academic College, Tel-Aviv, Israel Department of Clinical Biochemistry and Pharmacology, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beersheba, Israel
Noa Barak
Affiliation:
Psychobiology Laboratory, School of Behavioral Sciences, Tel Aviv-Yaffo Academic College, Tel-Aviv, Israel
Tal Reshef Ben-Mordechai
Affiliation:
Psychobiology Laboratory, School of Behavioral Sciences, Tel Aviv-Yaffo Academic College, Tel-Aviv, Israel
Haim Einat*
Affiliation:
Psychobiology Laboratory, School of Behavioral Sciences, Tel Aviv-Yaffo Academic College, Tel-Aviv, Israel Department of Clinical Biochemistry and Pharmacology, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beersheba, Israel College of Pharmacy, University of Minnesota, Duluth, MN, USA
*
Haim Einat, Psychobiology Laboratory, School of Behavioral Sciences, Tel Aviv-Yaffo Academic College, 2 Rabenu Yeruham Street, Tel-Aviv 6818211, Israel. Tel: +972 3 6802536; Fax: +972 3 6802526; E-mail: haimh@mta.ac.il

Abstract

Objective

A number of atypical antipsychotic drugs were demonstrated to have anxiolytic effects in patients and in animal models. These effects were mostly suggested to be the consequence of the drugs’ affinity to the serotonin system and its receptors. Asenapine is a relatively new atypical antipsychotic that is prescribed for schizophrenia and for bipolar mania. Asenapine has a broad pharmacological profile with significant effects on serotonergic receptors, hence it is reasonable to expect that asenapine may have some anxiolytic effects. The present study was therefore designed to examine possible effects of asenapine on anxiety-like behaviour of mice.

Method

Male ICR mice were repeatedly treated with 0.1 or 0.3 mg/kg injections of asenapine and then tested in a battery of behavioural tests related to anxiety including the open-field test, elevated plus-maze (EPM), defensive marble burying and hyponeophagia tests. In an adjunct experiment, we tested the effects of acute diazepam in the same test battery.

Results

The results show that diazepam reduced anxiety-like behaviour in the EPM, the defensive marble burying test and the hyponeophagia test but not in the open field. Asenapine has anxiolytic-like effects in the EPM and the defensive marble burying tests but had no effects in the open-field or the hyponeophagia tests. Asenapine had no effects on locomotor activity.

Conclusion

The results suggest that asenapine may have anxiolytic-like properties and recommends that clinical trials examining such effects should be performed.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
© Scandinavian College of Neuropsychopharmacology 2015 

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