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Effects of chronic diazepam treatment and withdrawal on avoidance behavior

Ayvasik, B
Zagli, U
Palaoglu, O
Soygur, H
Ayhan, IH
The present study was designed to evaluate the effects of chronic diazepam (DZ) treatment with low doses and diazepam withdrawal on the two-way shuttle-box avoidance performance in rats. After 24 rats were randomly assigned into three groups (I mg/kg DZ, 2 mg/kg DZ and control groups), all animals were trained to avoid from an electrical foot shock (0.8 mA) delivered through the grid floor by crossing to the other compartment of the box. Following the avoidance training, the first group received I mg/kg DZ (DZ1), the second group received 2 mg/kg DZ (DZ2), and the control group (CONT group) was given a vehicle chronically for 28 days. All rats were tested on the 1(st), 7(th), 14(th), 21th and 28(th) days of chronic treatment. Following chronic DZ treatment, two weeks of withdrawal from chronic DZ treatment started and all animals were tested on the 1(st), 4(th), 7(th), and 14(th) days of withdrawal. Acute administration of DZ did not produce any impairment on avoidance performance. However all groups showed a significant increment in avoidance performance for the first day of drug administration. Neither chronic administration of DZ nor withdrawal from it had a significant effect on avoidance performance. These findings were discussed by faking potential confounding variables, such as subject loss throughout the experiment, ceiling effect of training, anxiogenic effect of beginning, and discontinuation of injection, into consideration.