D-amphetamine improves attention performance in adolescent Wistar, but not in SHR rats, in a two-choice visual discrimination task

Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2015 Sep;232(17):3269-86. doi: 10.1007/s00213-015-3974-2. Epub 2015 Jun 4.


The validity of spontaneous hypertensive rat (SHR) as a model of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been explored by comparing SHR with Wistar rats in a test of attention, the two-choice visual discrimination task (2-CVDT). Animals were 4-5 weeks old during the training phase of the experiment and 6-7 weeks old during the testing phase in which they were tested with D-amphetamine, a stimulant drug used for the treatment of ADHD. As compared to Wistar, SHR showed a slightly better attention performance, a slightly lower impulsivity level, and a lower general activity during the training phase, but these differences disappeared or lessened thereafter, during the testing phase. D-amphetamine (0.5, 1 mg/kg) improved attention performance in Wistar, but not in SHR, and did not modify impulsivity and activity in the two strains. In conclusion, the present study did not demonstrate that SHR represents a valid model of ADHD, since it did not show face validity regarding the behavioral symptoms of ADHD and predictive validity regarding the effect of a compound used for the treatment of ADHD. On the other hand, this study showed that the 2-CVDT may represent a suitable tool for evaluating in adolescent Wistar rats the effect on attention of compounds intended for the treatment of ADHD.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Attention / drug effects*
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / pharmacology*
  • Dextroamphetamine / pharmacology*
  • Discrimination, Psychological / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Psychomotor Performance / drug effects*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred SHR
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reaction Time / drug effects


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Dextroamphetamine