Footshock affects heart and brain MAO and MAO inhibitory activity and open field behavior in rats

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior








Behavior; Inescapable footshock; MAO; MAO inhibitory activity; Open field; Stres


This study examined the effects, after 1 min or 2 hr, of one footshock session on the activity of MAO in rat heart and brain, the MAO inhibitory activity of these tissues, and the animal's behavior in an open field. Internal ambulation was reduced at both times; the lowest score was registered at 1 min. The number of boluses emitted during the test was higher in the group tested at 2 hr than in the other groups. One min after shocks MAO activity in heart and brain was decreased. In the heart MAO was still decreased 2 hr later, then reaching the lowest levels, while at that time, brain MAO was not different from controls. When assayed separately (MAO A and B), only the A form was found to change. MAO inhibitory activity in heart was increased at both times, the highest activity observed 2 hr after footshock. Brain MAO inhibitory activity was increased only in the 1-min group. Ex vivo competition experiments with clorgyline suggested presence in vivo of a reversible MAO inhibitor. The time-dependent response to stress of both MAO activity and MAO inhibitory activity in the tissues correlates with the responses observed in the open field test. These findings suggest that the observed biochemical changes might be related to increased autonomic activity and to the state of fear and anxiety evoked by the stressful procedure. © 1990.