Effects of dysthyroidism in plus maze and social interaction tests

Josefina Sala-Roca*, Maria Assumpció Martí-Carbonell, Adriana Garau, Sonia Darbra, Ferran Balada

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of the present study was to determine the influence of thyroid hormones on the anxiety of male Wistar rats. Dysthyroidism was induced by adding 20 mg of methimazole (100 ml) to their drinking water or by adding 0.3 mg of L-thyroxine (100 ml) to their drinking water from the ninth day of gestation. After weaning, the drugs were administered to young rats until the end of the experiment. Anxious behavior was measured using the elevated plus maze and social interaction tests when the animals were 85 days old. Chronic methimazole administration produced a significant anxiolytic pattern in both tests. In the plus maze test, the methimazole-treated animals entered and remained more time in the open arms than the control animals. In the social interaction test, they spent more time in bodily contact, and did this more frequently than those in the control group did. Results from this experiment suggest that chronic thyroid deficiency produces an anxiolytic-like effect in both tests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)643-650
Number of pages8
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Anxiety
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Plus maze test
  • Rat
  • Social interaction test


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