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Septal lesions and emotionality in the rat Wexler, Norman

Abstract

The effects of septal lesions in rats on the hyperglycaemic response to stress, adrenal weight and water intake were investigated. Tested four times post-operatively at approximately weekly intervals, septal rats did not manifest significantly different resting blood glucose levels than control animals nor did they demonstrate an abnormal degree of hyperglycaemia following periods of unavoidable foot shock. No adrenal hypertrophy was evident in septal subjects compared to controls. Daily water intake was significantly higher among septals. The results concerning blood sugar levels and adrenal weights are taken as evidence that septal rage may not represent true hyperemotionality since certain appropriate physiological concomitants are absent. A second experiment investigated resistance to capture and handling and aspects of open field behaviour in septal and control rats following injections of chlorpromazine hydrochloride or saline. Septalectomized rats resisted handling and capture to a greater extent than controls, traversed fewer squares and demonstrated less rears in an open field, and had a greater tendency to leave a home cage and enter an open field. Chlorpromazine affected neither control nor septal subjects except to suppress the tendency of septal rats to leave a home cage and enter an open field. The behaviour of septal rats is discussed in terms of apparent emotionality.

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