The early acquisition of two-way (shuttle-box) avoidance as an anxiety-mediated behavior: Psychopharmacological validation

A. FernÁndez-Teruel, R. M. Escorihuela, J. F. Núñez, A. Zapata, F. Boix, W. Salazar, A. Tobeña

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

116 Citations (Scopus)


Several lines of evidence have established that performance during the initial steps of acquisition on a shuttle-box avoidance task is an anxiety-mediated behavior (i.e., the differences between strains selectively bred for emotionality; the effects of postnatal handling; the course of the corticosterone response and behavioral measures of fear during acquisition). The present study was carried out to add pharmacological evidence to that view by testing the action of anxiogenic and anxiolytic drugs. Single 40-trial sessions with mild shocks (0.4 mA-0.6 mA) were used. In the first experiments the action of sodium pentobarbital (1.25, 2.5 and 5 mg/kg) and three benzodiazepines (diazepam, 2 and 4 mg/kg; alprazolam, 1 1.25 and 1.5 mg/ kg and adinazolam, 1, 2, 4 and 6 mg/kg) were tested. The last two experiments tested a possible proanxiety action of Ro 15-4513 (2, 5 and 10 mg/kg) and FG 7142 (5, 10 and 15 mg/kg), two partial inverse agonists of benzodiazepine receptors, which previous data had suggested to be anxiogenic. The results showed that the measure of acquisition of a two-way active avoidance is a sensitive mean for detecting either anxiolytic or anxiogenic effects of drugs, independently of their effects on locomotor activity, thus suggesting that such test could be a valid model of anxiety in animals. © 1991.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-176
JournalBrain Research Bulletin
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1991


  • Adinazolam
  • Alprazolam
  • Anxiety
  • Diazepam
  • FG 7142
  • Ro 15-4513
  • Shuttle-box avoidance
  • Sodium pentobarbital


Dive into the research topics of 'The early acquisition of two-way (shuttle-box) avoidance as an anxiety-mediated behavior: Psychopharmacological validation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this