Anxiolytic effect of glycine antagonists microinjected into the dorsal periaqueductal grey
To investigate if blockade of the modulatory glycine site of NMDA receptors in the dorsal periaqueductal grey (DPAG) would produce anxiolytic effects, groups of 9–14 rats received microinjections into this structure of 7-chloro-kynurenic acid (7-Cl-KY, 4 and 8 nmol) or 3-amino-1-hydroxypyrrolid-2-one (HA-966, 30 or 100 nmol), two selective antagonists at the strychnine-insensitive glycine modulatory site, and were submitted to the elevated plus-maze, an ethologically based animal model of anxiety. Both drugs increased the percentage of entries and of time spent in open arms as compared to rats receiving isotonic saline. Injections of the active compounds outside the DPAG were not effective. In another experiment microinjections of 7-Cl-KY (8 nmol) and HA-966 (100 nmol) into the DPAG raised the threshold of aversive electrical stimulation of the rat DPAG. These results indicate that microinjections of 7-Cl-KY and HA-966 into the DPAG cause anxiolytic effects in two different models of anxiety and support the proposal that NMDA-mediated neurotransmission in the DPAG may be related to anxiety and panic.
Key wordsExcitatory amino acids Dorsal periaqueductal grey NMDA receptor Strychnine-insensitive glycine receptor antagonists Anxiolytic effect Elevated plus-maze Aversive brain stimulation
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