Buspirone produces a dose-related impairment in spatial navigation

NCL McNaughton, R G Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Classical anxiolytic drugs and hippocampal lesions have common behavioural effects that include loss of place navigation in the water maze. The novel anxiolytic drug buspirone, unlike classical anxiolytic drugs, does not interact with GABA and is not muscle relaxant, sedative, hypnotic, anticonvulsant, or addictive. Buspirone affects hippocampal electrophysiology in a similar fashion to classical anxiolytics and so we predicted it would have similar effects on spatial navigation. Rats injected with buspirone (0.1-10.0 mg/kg, IP) showed a loss of acquisition of spatial navigation in the water maze that has a similar dose dependence to that reported for the effects of buspirone on the hippocampus. This finding demonstrates that the effects of anxiolytics on spatial navigation are not due to their side effects and supports the view that changes in hippocampal function may underlie some components of clinical anxiolytic action.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-71
Number of pages5
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1992

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Animals
  • Buspirone
  • Depression, Chemical
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Hippocampus
  • Learning
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Space Perception
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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