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The Effects of the Antiepileptics Phenytoin, Carbamazepine, Valproic Acid and Ethosuximide on Rats Learning a Water Maze Task

Contact Person: James D. Churchill (jchurchi@indiana.edu)


Escape Learning

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Figure 1 illustrates the cumulative percent of animals who achieved criteria across days 1-5 of training. In comparison to controls, DPH-treated rats were less successful in learning the escape response, as reflected by a significant main effect for drug treatment [F(1,34)=7.23, p<.05]. In contrast, animals treated with CBZ, VPA or ETH quickly reached criterion and were not statistically different from controls.

Acquisition Rate

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Figure 2 presents the percent escape for the first two days of behavior training for carbamazepine, valproic acid, ethosuximide and controls. Even though rats treated with CBZ, VPA, or ETH learned the escape response to levels comparable to controls, the CBZ-treated rats did show a deficit on the first day of training [t(34)=2.67, p<.05]. Not surprisingly, the CBZ-treated rats also displayed a significantly lower average percent escape than both the VPA- [t(17)=2.49, p<.05] and the ETH-treated rats [t(20)=2.11, p<.05].

Escape Latency and Speed

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Figure 3 depicts the latency to escape on day animals met criteria. While a fraction of the phenytoin-treated group successfully mastered the task, they were still slower in locating the platform when compared to controls (F(1,32)=4.38, p<.05).

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Figure 4 represents the swim speed of animals to locate the platform on the day criteria were met. Statistical analyses indicates no differences between any group.

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Figure 5 is a comparison of the swim path length to escape on day animals met criteria. Interestingly, while those phenytoin-treated animals that successfully mastered the task were not statistically different from controls, they were slower than the ethosuximide group (ANOVA, p<.05).

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Churchill, JD; Herron, AH; Fang, P-C; Voss, SE; Garraghty, PE; (1998). The Effects of the Antiepileptics Phenytoin, Carbamazepine, Valproic Acid and Ethosuximide on Rats Learning a Water Maze Task. Presented at INABIS '98 - 5th Internet World Congress on Biomedical Sciences at McMaster University, Canada, Dec 7-16th. Available at URL http://www.mcmaster.ca/inabis98/neuropharm/churchill0693/index.html
© 1998 Author(s) Hold Copyright