Critical neuropsychobiological analysis of panic attack- and anticipatory anxiety-like behaviors in rodents confronted with snakes in polygonal arenas and complex labyrinths: a comparison to the elevated plus- and T-maze behavioral tests
Coimbra, Norberto C., Paschoalin-Maurin, Tatiana, Bassi, Gabriel S., Kanashiro, Alexandre, Biagioni, Audrey F., Felippotti, Tatiana T., Elias-Filho, Daoud H., Mendes-Gomes, Joyce, Cysne-Coimbra, Jade P., Almada, Rafael C., Lobão-Soares, Bruno
Rev. Bras. Psiquiatr.
DATA DE PUBLICAÇÃO
Objective: To compare prey and snake paradigms performed in complex environments to the elevated plus-maze (EPM) and T-maze (ETM) tests for the study of panic attack- and anticipatory anxiety-like behaviors in rodents. Methods: PubMed was reviewed in search of articles focusing on the plus maze test, EPM, and ETM, as well as on defensive behaviors displayed by threatened rodents. In addition, the authors’ research with polygonal arenas and complex labyrinth (designed by the first author for confrontation between snakes and small rodents) was examined. Results: The EPM and ETM tests evoke anxiety/fear-related defensive responses that are pharmacologically validated, whereas the confrontation between rodents and snakes in polygonal arenas with or without shelters or in the complex labyrinth offers ethological conditions for studying more complex defensive behaviors and the effects of anxiolytic and panicolytic drugs. Prey vs. predator paradigms also allow discrimination between non-oriented and oriented escape behavior. Conclusions: Both EPM and ETM simple labyrinths are excellent apparatuses for the study of anxiety- and instinctive fear-related responses, respectively. The confrontation between rodents and snakes in polygonal arenas, however, offers a more ethological environment for addressing both unconditioned and conditioned fear-induced behaviors and the effects of anxiolytic and panicolytic drugs.
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