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

Characterization of the profile of neurokinin-2 and neurotensin receptor antagonists in the mouse defense test battery.

Defensive behaviors of lower mammals confronted with a predatory stimulus provide an appropriate laboratory model for investigating behavior relevant to human emotional disorders. The mouse defense test battery (MDTB) has been developed because it combines many of the aspects of defense. Briefly, it consists of five tests either associated with potential threat (contextual defense) or the actual presence of an approaching threat (a rat). These latter focus on changes in flight, risk assessment and defensive threat and attack behaviors. Investigations with anxiolytic compounds have shown that these defense reactions may be used to differentiate between several classes of anxiolytic drugs. Here we used the MDTB to compare the behavioral profile of the benzodiazepine diazepam with that of neuropeptide receptor antagonists which have been shown to be involved in the modulation of stress response, namely the NK(2) receptor antagonists, SR48968 (0.01-1mg/kg) and SR144190 (1-10mg/kg), and the NT(1) receptor antagonist, SR48692 (1-30mg/kg). Results showed that all compounds decreased defensive threat/attack, but only diazepam and, to a lesser extent, SR48692 significantly modified risk assessment or flight. Further, none of the neuropeptide receptor antagonists modified contextual defense. Overall, the behavioral profile displayed by diazepam and these latter compounds in the MDTB are consistent with an anxiolytic-like action. However, our results suggest that, while NK(2) and NT(1) receptor antagonists may have limited efficacy on anxiety-related responses including cognitive aspects (i.e. risk assessment), they may have a potential against some forms of anxiety disorders which involve adaptative responses to extreme stress stimuli (e.g. direct confrontation with the threat stimulus).[1]


  1. Characterization of the profile of neurokinin-2 and neurotensin receptor antagonists in the mouse defense test battery. Griebel, G., Moindrot, N., Aliaga, C., Simiand, J., Soubrié, P. Neuroscience and biobehavioral reviews. (2001) [Pubmed]
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