Amygdala kindling and anxiety in the rat

Neuroreport. Nov-Dec 1990;1(3-4):255-8. doi: 10.1097/00001756-199011000-00022.


In humans, limbic epilepsy seems to predispose to anxiety. Attempts to model this phenomenon have shown that limbic kindling increases anxiety in domestic cats. No comparable data exist in rodents. The present study was done to investigate the effects of unilateral medial amygdala kindling in Wistar rats on behaviour in the 'elevated plus maze' test of anxiety. It was found that kindling to stage 5 seizures increased anxious response in the plus maze for at least a week following the last seizure. There were equally long lasting decreases in exploratory motivation in the hole board test, which were unrelated to the change in anxiety in the plus maze. The relevance of these findings to epilepsy, stress and anxiety are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amygdala / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Anxiety / physiopathology*
  • Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Exploratory Behavior / physiology
  • Kindling, Neurologic / physiology*
  • Male
  • Microinjections
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains


  • Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone