The present study investigated the effects of the NMDA receptor antagonists dizocilpine (MK-801) and ifenprodil on the appearance of diazepam withdrawal signs caused by discontinuation of long-term diazepam treatment using a drug-admixed food (DAF) method in Fischer 344 rats. The total withdrawal score was significantly decreased by after-withdrawal treatment with dizocilpine or ifenprodil. Dizocilpine, in particular, markedly suppressed the motor withdrawal signs and body weight loss, while ifenprodil suppressed the motor and emotional withdrawal signs. Furthermore, the decrease in the food intake during withdrawal (anorexia) was significantly reduced by dizocilpine, but not by ifenprodil. These behavioral results indicated that the activation of NMDA receptors during withdrawal may play an important role in the appearance of withdrawal signs (in particular motor withdrawal signs) caused by discontinuation of chronic diazepam treatment, and that inhibitory agents for NMDA receptors may be effective in alleviation of the appearance of benzodiazepine withdrawal signs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Clinical Neurology
- Developmental Biology