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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effects of social defeat and of diazepam on behavior in a resident-intruder test in male DBA/2 mice.

Social stress induces robust behavioral and physiological changes, some of which may alter the responsiveness to pharmacological agents, including diazepam (DZP). We used a resident-intruder paradigm to (1) develop a comprehensive ethogram of behavioral changes following social defeat (SD) in the socially reactive strain, DBA/2 male mice, (2) determine whether acute exposure of DBA/2 mice to low-dose DZP would induce flight or aggressive behavior, both of which have been observed in other rodent models and (3) to test whether prior social stress affects responses to DZP. Behavioral responses to a nonaggressive intruder (NAI) mouse 24 h post-SD were measured in resident subject mice exposed to DZP (0, 0.5, 2.0 mg/kg, ip) either prior to the resident-intruder test (Experiment 1) or immediately post-SD (Experiment 2); control mice were not defeated (NOSD). In general, SD mice displayed increased passive and active avoidance, defense, immobility, and risk assessment relative to NOSD mice. In Experiment 1, mice treated acutely with 0.5 mg/kg DZP had more approach and flight behavior, while those treated with 2.0 mg/kg DZP had more avoidance than vehicle-treated mice, independent of SD. In Experiment 2, acute DZP (2 mg/kg) induced effects 24 h later, possibly secondary to withdrawal. In a nonsocial context (Experiment 3), DZP increased exploratory activity.[1]


  1. Effects of social defeat and of diazepam on behavior in a resident-intruder test in male DBA/2 mice. Lumley, L.A., Charles, R.F., Charles, R.C., Hebert, M.A., Morton, D.M., Meyerhoff, J.L. Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. (2000) [Pubmed]
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