Neonatal Clomipramine Rat Model of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Demonstrates Neurochemical Differences in Prefrontal and Motor Cortices and Behavioral Differences in Elevated Plus Maze and Hole Board
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) involves recurring, unwanted thoughts and uncontrollable behaviors that are known to be caused by defects in neurochemical circuits. The main pharmacological treatment for OCD is Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SRIs). These drugs are insufficient in providing symptom relief effectively and painlessly. Animal models are necessary for screening new drugs that could potentially surpass SRIs in terms of efficacy. A preliminary study concerned with developing the neoCLOM rat model of OCD was conducted. Male and female rat behaviors were observed in the Elevated Plus Maze (EPM) and Hole Board (HB) assays after they were injected with either clomipramine or saline neonatal Days 9-16. Injections of clomipramine in this critical period is purported to disrupt the development of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis, influencing their responses to stressful situations in adulthood. Preliminary data showed differences in anxiety-related behaviors in adulthood depending on rat sex and type of neonatal drug injection. This indicates a difference in the neurochemistry between the subject groups. Utilizing High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) will provide the opportunity to detect any neurochemical differences underlying the results of the behavioral data. Specifically, the study analyzed levels of dopamine (DA), norepinephrine (NE), and serotonin (5-HT) in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and the motor cortex (MC) as these anatomical regions are relevant in humans with OCD according to previous clinical studies.
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Nussbaum, Rebecca; Vititow, Maylin; Mato, Juan; Coletti, Kristen; and Silberstein, Dana, "Neonatal Clomipramine Rat Model of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Demonstrates Neurochemical Differences in Prefrontal and Motor Cortices and Behavioral Differences in Elevated Plus Maze and Hole Board" (2020). Research Days Posters Spring 2020. 60.