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Effects of meta-chlorophenylpiperazine (mCPP) on induction of compulsive-like behaviors in rats evaluated in the open field test

Grant number: 17/00670-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2017
Effective date (End): August 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Physiological Psychology
Principal Investigator:Paulo Eduardo Carneiro de Oliveira
Grantee:Viviane Miwa Kawaoku
Host Institution: Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas (CECH). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a psychopathology in which the individual is unable to control intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and, in order to push them away, engages in repetitive activities (compulsions). Several animal models have been used in an attempt to better understand the mechanisms involved in OCD, with grooming being the most frequently evaluated behavior. In a previous study of our group, rats separated according to the expression of grooming in the elevated plus maze test (EPM) did not differ in their behavior when exposed to fear/anxiety and compulsivity tests, suggesting that grooming observed in the EPM would not be related to anxiety in general, or to OCD specifically. In other studies, it was found that the administration of meta-chlorophenylpiperazine (mCPP), a non-selective serotonergic agonist, could both induce compulsive behaviors and decrease them depending on the dose used. These findings highlight the need for further research on the effects of mCPP on compulsive-like behaviors in the development of animal models for OCD. Thus, the present study aims to contribute to the standardization of the use of mCPP-induced grooming as an animal model to study OCD and to help clarify the relationship between OCD and anxiety. For this, male Wistar rats will receive saline or mCPP at doses of 0.1, 1.0 or 3.0 mg/kg and will have the grooming behavior evaluated for 20 min. Afterwards, the animals will be exposed for 20 min to the open-field test for evaluation of compulsive-like behaviors (purposeless chewing, flat body posture and grooming), anxiety-associated behaviors (freezing and center/border exploration) and possible motor side effects (crosses and hearings). It is expected to establish the dose of mCPP capable of increasing grooming and other compulsive-like behaviors without compromising motor activity, and to explore the influence on anxiety-related behaviors. (AU)

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