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Effects of midazolam, DMCM and lindane on potentiated startle in the rat

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Forty-eight male Wistar rats were exposed to contingent light-shock combinations and 48 rats received light and shock stimuli in a random order. One day after fear conditioning the animals were tested for startle potentation after injection of midazolam (0, 0.5, 1.0, 2.0 mg/kg, IP) or DMCM (methyl-6,7-dimethoxy-4-ethyl-beta-carboline-3-carboxylate; 0, 0.1, 0.2, 0.4 mg/kg IP) or lindane (0, 7.5, 15.0, 30.0 mg/kg PO). Midazolam attenuated potentiated startle dose dependently and the inverse benzodiazepine agonist DMCM had the opposite effect. The effects of lindane on startle amplitudes were identical to those of DMCM, indicating that lindane has anxiogenic effects on behavior. It is suggested that the anxiogenic effects of lindane are mediated by an effect at the GABA-ionophore complex.

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Correspondence to Theo H. Hijzen.

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Hijzen, T.H., Slangen, J.L. Effects of midazolam, DMCM and lindane on potentiated startle in the rat. Psychopharmacology 99, 362–365 (1989).

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Key words

  • Acoustic startle reflex
  • Fear-conditioning
  • Midazolam
  • DMCM
  • Lindane
  • Rat