Effects of age and sex on ketamine-induced hyperactivity in rats

Physiol Behav. 2007 Jun 8;91(2-3):202-7. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2007.02.010. Epub 2007 Mar 2.


Investigators tested the hypothesis that administration of the NMDA antagonist ketamine would result in differential effects on activity levels in rats depending upon the age and the sex of the animal. Twenty-two-, 35-, and 50-day-old rats were given doses of ketamine (0.0 or 10.0 mg/kg) and tested for open-field activity and frequencies of reverse locomotion, rearing, turning, and head weaving. Results indicated that ketamine produced hyperactivity in both males and females at 22 days of age but only in females at 35 days of age. There was no effect of ketamine on locomotor activity in 50-day-old rats, regardless of sex. Effects of ketamine on turning, reverse locomotion, and head weaving were similar with administration, in general, causing increments in these behaviors in both sexes at 22 days and in females at all ages tested. Ketamine resulted in reductions in rearing in both sexes regardless of age.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Anesthetics, Dissociative / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Hyperkinesis / chemically induced*
  • Hyperkinesis / physiopathology
  • Ketamine / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Motor Activity / drug effects*
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / physiology
  • Sex Factors


  • Anesthetics, Dissociative
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
  • Ketamine