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Comparative Study
, 179 (1), 141-51

Strain Differences in 'Compulsive' Lever-Pressing

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Comparative Study

Strain Differences in 'Compulsive' Lever-Pressing

Lior Brimberg et al. Behav Brain Res.

Abstract

In the signal attenuation rat model of obsessive-compulsive disorder, 'compulsive' behavior is induced by attenuating a signal indicating that a lever-press response was effective in producing food. In recent years several studies have reported that Lewis rats, an inbred strain derived from the Sprague Dawley strain, exhibit addictive and/or compulsive tendencies. The aim of the present study was thus to test whether Lewis rats will also show increased compulsivity in the signal attenuation model. Because the model has been developed and validated using Wistar rats only, the present study compared the behavioral response to signal attenuation of Lewis, Sprague Dawley and Wistar rats, and assessed the effects of the anti-compulsive drug paroxetine on compulsive behavior in Lewis and Sprague Dawley rats. The results show that Lewis rats are more 'compulsive' than Sprague Dawley and Wistar rats in terms of both higher levels of compulsive lever-pressing and higher resistance to the anti-compulsive effect of paroxetine. The possibility that these strain differences are related to strain differences in the serotonergic and dopaminergic systems are discussed in light of current knowledge of the pathophysiology and pharmacotherapy of OCD.

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