Objective: To investigate the behavioral characteristics, including anxiety and motor impairment, in sodium benzoate (NaB) treated rats.
Methods: The study was carried out between July and September 2012 in the Laboratory Animal Center of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran. The rats were divided into 2 groups receiving distilled water and NaB (200mg/kg/day). All the animals received daily gavages for 4 weeks. At the end of the fourth week, anxiety, and motor function were assessed in elevated plus maze and rotarod test.
Results: According to the results, NaB-treated rats spent less time in the open arm and had fewer entrances to the open arms in comparison with the control group (p<0.04). Also, the performance of the NaB-treated rats in fixed and accelerating speed rotarods was impaired, and the riding time (endurance) was lower than the control group (p<0.01).
Conclusion: The performance of the NaB-treated rats was impaired in the elevated plus maze, an indicator of anxiety. Their riding time in fixed and accelerating speed rotarods was decreased, indicating motor impairment.