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Temas em Psicologia

versão impressa ISSN 1413-389X


SALVIANO, Marcelo et al. Behavioral evaluation of male and female carioca high- and low-freezing rats. Temas psicol. [online]. 2014, vol.22, n.3, pp. 663-675. ISSN 1413-389X.

Recent years have seen growing interest in the development of genetic animal models to investigate the bidirectional relationship between trait anxiety and defensive reactions. The present study further analyzed behavioral correlates of two novel breeding lines of rats, Carioca high-and low-conditioned freezing (CHF and CLF), based on defensive freezing responses to contextual cues previously associated with electric footshock. Male and female rats from the 10th generation were used to assess anxiety-like reactions in the elevated plus maze (EPM), depressive-like behavior in the forced swim test (FST), and aversive memory in the contextual fear conditioning paradigm. In the EPM, female rats showed lower anxiety-like behavior than males, whereas CHF rats were more anxious than CLF rats. The same pattern of results was found in the contextual fear conditioning paradigm. No differences were found between lines or sexes in the FST. Such differences in emotionality responses in the 10th generation of selected rats further indicate a possible use of this model to study correlations between trait anxiety and defensive reactions. The face validity of the model and its use to experimentally simulate generalized anxiety disorder in humans are also discussed.

Palavras-chave : Genetic animal model; contextual fear conditioning; anxiety.

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