Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Differences among nine 1,4-benzodiazepines: an ethopharmacological evaluation in mice

  • 38 Accesses

  • 17 Citations


The present study explored whether the profiles of action of benzodiazepines on intraspecies conflict behavior in mice are different. The occurrence of seven behavioral elements was observed in aggressive and timid singlyhoused male mice treated with drugs in paired interactions with untreated non-aggressive males. At low doses, some benzodiazepines (alprazolam, oxazepam and diazepam) inhibited defenses, escapes, or attacks, but did not reduce other activities (social sniffing, walking, rearing), and actually increased most of them. At comparable doses, other benzodiazepines (flunitrazepam, nitrazepam, clonazepam and chlordiazepoxide) stimulated only social sniffing, but reduced rearing or walking. Further benzodiazepines (triazolam and lorazepam) reduced defenses, escapes and attacks only at doses that suppressed most of the remaining activities as well. Thus, the nine benzodiazepines tested exhibited different profiles of action in the present study. Alprazolam, oxazepam and diazepam appeared least sedative, while triazolam and lorazepam were most sedative.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Grant EC, Mackintosh JH (1963) A comparison of the social postures of some common laboratory rodents. Behavior 21: 246–259

  2. Krsiak M (1979) Effects of drugs on behavior of aggressive mice. Br J Pharmacol 65: 525–533

  3. Krsiak M, Sulcova A, Donat P, Tomasikova Z, Dlohozkova Z, Kosar E, Masek K (1984) Can social and agonistic interactions be used to detect anxiolytic activity of drugs? In: Miczek KA, Kruk MR, Olivier B (eds) Ethopharmacological aggression research. Liss, New York, pp 93–114

  4. Muller WE, Stillbauer AE (1983) Benzodiazepine hypnotics: time course and potency of benzodiazepine receptor occupation after oral application. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 18: 545–549

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to A. Sulcova.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Sulcova, A., Krsiak, M. Differences among nine 1,4-benzodiazepines: an ethopharmacological evaluation in mice. Psychopharmacology 97, 157–159 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00442240

Download citation

Key words

  • 1,4-Benzodiazepines
  • Sedative potency
  • Timidity
  • Aggression
  • Mouse