Neuropharmacology Poster Session
Materials & Methods
Discussion & Conclusion
The Effects of the Antiepileptics Phenytoin, Carbamazepine, Valproic Acid and Ethosuximide on Rats Learning a Water Maze Task
Contact Person: James D. Churchill (email@example.com)
Materials and Methods
Subjects: Ten days prior to behavioral training, adult, male Sprague-Dawley rats began receiving oral treatment of either phenytoin (DPH, n=11), carbamazepine (CBZ, n=11), valproic acid (VPA, n=8), ethosuximide (ETH, n=11), or controls (n=25). The frequency and quantity of drug administration was directed at achieving blood levels that approximated the desired human therapeutic range (as determined by plasma assays). Drugs were administered two hours prior to behavioral testing and continued throughout all training days.
Apparatus: A plastic pool (140 cm diameter) was filled with water (25° C ± 1) to a depth of 45 cm and the water made opaque by milk powder or small plastic beads. A transparent platform (17 cm diameter) was placed 1 cm below water level to be used as the escape platform. Distinct, spatial cues were placed throughout the testing chamber where the pool was located.
Behavioral Testing: Each daily session consisted of four trials in which the platform location remained constant, but the starting position varied pseudorandomly. A trial was comprised of a swim period (60 sec max) in which the rat was tasked with locating a hidden platform and a 30 second intertrial interval where the animal remained (or was placed) on the platform. Subjects were trained until they reached criterion (7/8 escapes on two consecutive days). Measures of latency to escape, swim length and swim speed were analyzed using an ANOVA to assess escape learning and t-tests were used to evaluate escape acquisition.
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(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