Depression- and anxiety-like behaviors of a rat model with absence epileptic discharges

F. Z. Shaw, S. H. Chuang, K. R. Shieh, Y. J. Wang

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42 Citations (Scopus)


Depression and/or anxiety are major comorbidities of epilepsy. However, the contribution of absence epileptic discharges in psychiatric syndromes is inconclusive. This study aimed to clarify the influence of absence seizure in anxiety- and depression-like behaviors using normal Wistar rats and Long-Evans rats with spontaneous spike-wave discharges (SWDs). Anxiety-like behaviors were evaluated by the open field (OF) and elevated plus maze (EPM) tests, and depression-like behaviors by the forced swimming (FS) and sucrose consumption (SC) tests. Long-Evans rats displayed significantly higher frequency and longer duration in the open arms of the EPM and in the center zone of the OF than did Wistar rats. Normalized behavioral indexes by movement also were significantly higher in Long-Evans rats. An excess of SWD numbers was associated with lower indexes and worse movement in the two behavioral tests. Ethosuximide eliminated the seizure frequency-dependent relationship and also significantly increased all indexes of the EPM test. Additionally, Long-Evans rats revealed significantly longer immobility in the FS test and lower consumption of sucrose solution in the SC test than did Wistar rats. Meanwhile, no relationship was found between immobility of the FS test and SWD number. Ethosuximide ameliorated depression-like behavior of Long-Evans rats that was equal to that of Wistar rats. Thus, Long-Evans rats showed seizure frequency-related exacerbation in anxiety-like behavior; and they displayed a depressive propensity. Our data suggest that generalized SWDs may have distinct influences in anxious and depressive behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)382-393
Number of pages12
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009 May 5

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)


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