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The effects of fluoxetine and buspirone on self-injurious and stereotypic behavior in adult male rhesus macaques

The effects of fluoxetine and buspirone on self-injurious and stereotypic behavior in adult male rhesus macaques

Comparative Medicine 55(1): 67-74

The effects of two serotonergic agents--fluoxetine, a serotonin (5-HT) reuptake inhibitor, and buspirone, a 5-HT 1a agonist--on rates of self-injurious and stereotypic behavior were examined in 15 adult male Macaca mulatta. All animals received a placebo for 2 weeks followed by either buspirone or fluoxetine for 12 weeks. Behavior was monitored using a focal sampling technique throughout the study and for 2 weeks post-study. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples and body weights were obtained pre-study, at the ends of placebo and treatment phases, and post-study. Fluoxetine and buspirone were significantly effective in reducing rates of self-biting during treatment weeks 1 to 8 and self-directed stereotypic behavior during weeks 5 to 12 and post-treatment. No significant effect of either treatment on hair-plucking, stereotypic pacing, saluting, or head tossing was identified. The duration of neutral behavior increased, and rates of scratching and yawning decreased in the buspirone-treated condition. In the fluoxetine-treated condition, rates of yawning, scratching, and self-directed grooming were higher overall compared with those of buspirone-treated animals, and rates of scratching increased significantly (P < 0.05) in weeks 9 to 12; these findings suggest that animals in the fluoxetine-treated condition experienced higher levels of anxiety throughout the study. In both treatment conditions, concentrations of CSF 5-HIAA (5-HT metabolite) were significantly lower (P < 0.05) than placebo concentrations. Fluoxetine and buspirone may be efficacious for treatment of self-injurious and self-directed stereotypic behavior in macaques. Further studies are required to determine the optimal dosages and treatment length.

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Accession: 004351907

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PMID: 15766212

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