Differences in the duration of sedative and anxiolytic effects of desmethyldiazepam in two outbred Wistar strains

J W van der Laan, S.F. de Boer, J van der Gugten, G de Groot

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Different sensitivities to benzodiazepines have been described for various strains of both rats and mice suggesting that variations in biological features of the animals are responsible for these differences. Since all reports concern inbred strains, we studied two outbred Wistar strains which are used routinely in several research disciplines. The pharmacodynamics of desmethyldiazepam (DMD), the main active metabolite of diazepam in man, were compared for male rats of the Riv:TOX strain (from the National Institute of Public Health and Environmental Protection) and the Crl:(WI)BR strain. The duration of sedative action of DMD after oral administration, as derived from suppression of the nocturnal locomotor activity, was longer in the Riv:TOX strain than in the Crl:(WI)BR strain. Accordingly, suppression of novelty-induced corticosterone release as an index of anxiolytic action was observed 11 hours after DMD administration in Riv:TOX rats but not in Crl:(WI)BR rats. At that time, serum DMD concentration was shown to be higher in the Riv:TOX strain than in the Crl:(WI)BR strain. The data are discussed in relation with possible metabolic differences between the two strains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-153
Number of pages5
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry & Behavior
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May-1991


  • Animals
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents
  • Corticosterone
  • Eating
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • Male
  • Motor Activity
  • Nordazepam
  • Radioligand Assay
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Species Specificity
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Time Factors

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