Defense reaction elicited by microinjection of kainic acid in the medial hypothalamus of the rat

Braz J Med Biol Res. 1988;21(3):569-71.


In order to localize groups of neurons commanding the defense reaction, a subtoxic dose (66 pmol) of kainic acid was microinjected into the medial hypothalamus of the rat. After drug treatment, the animals were placed inside a shuttle-box for 15 min and the number of midline crossings, rearings and forward leaps were recorded. Autonomic changes such as occurrence of micturition and defecation were also measured. Injection of kainic acid significantly increased locomotion, rearing and micturition, indicating that the medial hypothalamus of the rat contains perikarya/dendrites of neurons integrating the defense reaction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Escape Reaction / drug effects*
  • Hypothalamus, Middle / drug effects*
  • Kainic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Kainic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Microinjections
  • Neurons / drug effects*
  • Psychomotor Agitation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains


  • Kainic Acid