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Testosterone treatment induces behavioral disinhibition in adult male rats.

Journal article
Authors Anders I Svensson
Pernilla Akesson
Jörgen Engel
Bo Söderpalm
Published in Pharmacology, biochemistry, and behavior
Volume 75
Issue 2
Pages 481-90
ISSN 0091-3057
Publication year 2003
Published at Institute of Physiology and Pharmacology, Dept of Pharmacology
Institute of Clinical Neurosciences, Section of Psychiatry
Pages 481-90
Language en
Keywords Androgens, pharmacology, Animals, Behavior, Animal, drug effects, Central Nervous System Depressants, pharmacology, Chlorides, metabolism, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Drinking, physiology, Drug Implants, Electroshock, Ethanol, pharmacology, Flunitrazepam, pharmacology, GABA Modulators, pharmacology, Genitalia, Male, anatomy & histology, drug effects, Inhibition (Psychology), Male, Motivation, Organ Size, drug effects, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Receptors, GABA-A, drug effects, Synaptosomes, drug effects, metabolism, Testosterone, blood, pharmacology, gamma-Aminobutyric Acid, pharmacology, physiology
Subject categories Pharmacology, Substance Abuse


The importance of testosterone for impulsive-like behavior is unclear. Here we studied the effect of testosterone administration during 6 and 14 days (separate experiments) with one, three and five testosterone-filled silastic capsules implanted subcutaneously on shock-induced behavioral inhibition and on flunitrazepam-induced disinhibition in a modified Vogel's drinking conflict model in rats. Alleviation of shock-induced behavioral inhibition has been suggested to reflect impulsive-like behavior and/or anxiolysis. Treatment with the highest testosterone dose used for 6 (Experiment 1) and 14 (Experiment 3) days increased the number of shocks accepted. Testosterone treatment affected serum levels of testosterone and accessory sex organ weights. Flunitrazepam induced behavioral disinhibition in both testosterone-treated (for 14 days) and sham-treated rats. Moreover, testosterone treatment for 14 days resulted in enhanced GABA-induced 36Cl- uptake into synaptoneurosomes as compared to controls. In conclusion, testosterone produces behavioral disinhibition and may enhance brain GABAA receptor function.

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