Influence of anxiety in spatial memory impairments related to the loss of vestibular function in rat.
Ultrasonic vocalization (USV) responses elicited by air-puff stimuli were compared in regard to both quality and quantity with those elicited by electric foot-shock(s) in adult rats. Frequency pattern, duration, repetition rate and interpulse interval of air-puff-elicited USV were comparable to those observed on foot-shock-elicited USV. Diazepam (0.25-1.0 mg/kg, s.c.) and buspirone (0.1-1.0 mg/kg, s.c.) attenuated equally and dose-dependently the USV responses elicited by both aversive stimuli. Air-puff-elicited USV was specifically attenuated in a dose-dependent manner by the anxiolytic properties of several psychotropic agents: diazepam (1.0-10.0 mg/kg, p.o.), buspirone (10.0-100.0 mg/kg, p.o.), 8-OH-DPAT (0.01-0.5 mg/kg, s.c.). Haloperidol (0.2-1.0 mg/kg, s.c.) weakly attenuated the USV response. Imipramine (0.2-1.0 mg/kg, s.c.) which has no anxiolytic property had no effect. Consequently, air-puff-elicited USV as well as foot-shock-elicited USV may provide a reliable tool for the study of anxiety.