Dorsomedial hypothalamic GABA regulates anxiety in the social interaction test

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1995 Feb;50(2):253-8. doi: 10.1016/0091-3057(94)00307-5.


Blockade of GABAA function in the region of the dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH) of rats is known to elicit a constellation of physiologic responses including increases in heart rate (HR), mean arterial blood pressure (BP), respiratory rate, and plasma catecholamine levels, as well as behavioral responses such as increases in locomotor activity and anxiogenic-like effects as measured in a conflict test and the elevated plus-maze test. The aim of the present study was to test the effects of microinjecting GABAA antagonists bicuculline methiodide (BMI) and picrotoxin, as well as the GABAA agonist muscimol, into the DMH of rats placed in the social interaction (SI) test. Muscimol decreased HR and BP but increased SI, whereas the GABA antagonists increased HR and BP but decreased SI time. Blocking the HR changes elicited by GABAergic drugs injected into the DMH with systemic injections of atenolol and atropine methylbromide did not block their effects on SI.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anxiety / physiopathology*
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Atenolol / pharmacology
  • Atropine Derivatives / pharmacology
  • Bicuculline / administration & dosage
  • Bicuculline / pharmacology
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • GABA Agonists / administration & dosage
  • GABA Agonists / pharmacology
  • GABA Antagonists / administration & dosage
  • GABA Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Heart Rate / drug effects
  • Hypothalamus, Middle / physiology*
  • Male
  • Microinjections
  • Muscimol / administration & dosage
  • Muscimol / pharmacology
  • Parasympatholytics / pharmacology
  • Picrotoxin / administration & dosage
  • Picrotoxin / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Social Behavior*
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / physiology*


  • Atropine Derivatives
  • GABA Agonists
  • GABA Antagonists
  • Parasympatholytics
  • Picrotoxin
  • Muscimol
  • Atenolol
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • methylatropine
  • Bicuculline