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Behavioral effects of etiracetam in rats

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Author: Wolthuis, O.L.
Institution: Medisch Biologisch Laboratorium TNO
Source:Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, 2, 15, 247-255
Identifier: 228977
Keywords: Biology · Etiracetam · Piracetam · 2 Pyrrolidone derivative · Drug derivative · Animal experiment · Avoidance behavior · Behavior · Central nervous system · Conditioning · Drug comparison · Drug response · Intraperitoneal drug administration · Rat · Animal · Animal behavior · Drug effect · Electric shock · Male · Motor activity · Perceptive discrimination · Perceptive threshold · Rat strain · Animal · Avoidance Learning · Behavior, Animal · Discrimination (Psychology) · Electroshock · Male · Motor Activity · Piracetam · Pyrrolidinones · Rats · Rats, Inbred Strains · Sensory Thresholds


The effects of etiracetam, a structural analogue or piracetam, were investigated in rats on Y-maze discrimination acquisition, on open field behavior, on one-trial passive avoidance learning and on shuttlebox acquisition and extinction. The results indicate that this drug significantly enhances acquisition and may improve retention without having any detectable effects on spontaneous behavior, not even in very high doses (500 mg/kg IP). Sensitivity to footshock, measured as 'flinch' thresholds, was not altered by etiracetam in doses of 25 or 100 mg/kg IP. For a shuttlebox task the effective dose-range lies between 20-30 mg/kg IP, provided pretreatment during 4 days is given. Without pretreatment, i.e. when the drug is only administered during the relatively fast acquisition in the shuttlebox, it was found that acquisition was not enhanced, but extinction of the acquired behavior was significantly inhibited. The effects of etiracetam can be found at lower dose-levels than with piracetam and also in tests (passive avoidance, shuttlebox) in which piracetam has no or only marginal effects. Chemicals/CAS: etiracetam, 102767-28-2, 33996-58-6; piracetam, 7491-74-9; etiracetam, 33996-58-6; Piracetam, 7491-74-9; Pyrrolidinones