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Effects of meta-chlorophenylpiperazine (mCPP) on the induction of compulsive-like behaviors in female rats: influence of the estrous cycle

Grant number: 19/02730-2
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2019
Effective date (End): May 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Physiological Psychology
Principal researcher:Amanda Ribeiro de Oliveira
Grantee:Jéssica Fernandes da Silva
Home Institution: Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas (CECH). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is characterized by obsessions - recurrent or unwanted thoughts or impulses - and/or compulsions - stereotyped or ritualized behaviors. Although there is no predominance between sexes, ovarian hormones appear to act as modulators in the disorder. The pathophysiology of OCD is still not entirely clear; however, the role of the serotonergic system is evidenced by the positive responses to treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). In addition, the serotonergic agonist meta-chlorophenylpiperazine (mCPP) exacerbates symptoms in patients with OCD and, depending on the dose, test and the species/lineage used, induces compulsive-like responses in rodents. To date, however, studies on the effects of mCPP on females have been rare. In this sense, the present study aims to evaluate the effects of mCPP on the induction of repetitive/perseverative behaviors in rats, considering the influence of different phases of the estrous cycle. For this, Wistar rats in both proestrus and late diestrus will receive saline or mCPP at doses of 0.1, 0.5, 1.0 and 3.0 mg/kg and will have the grooming behavior evaluated. Next, they will be exposed to the open-field test - for assessing compulsive-like behaviors (purposeless chewing, flatbody posture) and possible impairments in motor activity - or to marble burying and nestlet shredding - to evaluate the effects of mCPP on these other two types of repetitive behaviors. mCPP is expected to exacerbate grooming and other compulsive-like behaviors, with more robust effects for females during late diestrus.

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