An anxiogenic benzodiazepine receptor ligand induces learned helplessness

Robert C. Drugan, Steven F. Maier, Phil Skolnick, Steven M. Paul, Jacqueline N. Crawley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


Rats treated with the anxiogenic β-carboline, N-methyl-β-carboline-3-carboxamide (FG-7142), failed to acquire an excape response 24 h after treatment. Administration of FG-7142 resulted in a behavioral effect equivalent to a session of inescapable tailshock in this paradigm of learned helplessness. Pretreatment of rats with the selective benzodiazepine receptor antagonist Ro15-1788 blocked the development of learned helplessness elicited by FG-7142. These findings suggest that 'anxiety' may be a major factor in the development of learned helplessness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-457
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 31 1985


  • Antagonist
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • β-Carboline


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