The effects of prolonged rose odor inhalation in two animal models of anxiety.

Bradley BF, Starkey NJ, Brown SL, Lea RW
Physiology & Behavior, 2007


To investigate the anxiolytic effects of prolonged rose odor exposure, mature gerbils were exposed to acute (24 h), chronic (2 week) rose odor, or a no odor condition. Anxiolytic effects were assessed using the elevated plus maze and black white box. Rose odor profiles were compared with diazepam (1 mg/kg) i.p. The Jonckheere-Terpstra test was used, with the Mann-Whitney U test to examine significant group differences. In the elevated plus maze, spatiotemporal measures, altered by diazepam, were unaffected by rose oil, whereas exploration, increased (headdip frequency: acute U=100, p<0.001; chronic U=13, p<0.001). In the black white box, rose oil had anxiolytic spatiotemporal and exploratory behavior effects: latency to move from the white to the black compartment (acute U=182, p<0.01, chronic U=179, p<0.05), percentage time in the white compartment (acute U=168, p<0.01, chronic U=149, p<0.01) and exploration, rear-sniff frequency white (acute U=100, p<0.001; chronic U=99, p<0.001) increased. The percentage of time in the dark area decreased (acute U=160, p<0.01, chronic U=178, p<0.05). This anxiolytic profile strengthened after chronic exposure to rose odor, transitions between the compartments (U=167, p<0.01) and percentage of time moving around the arena (U=154, p<0.001) increased.

This profile was more representative of modern anxiolytics, for example some serotonergic agents, rather than benzodiazepine type drugs.


Bradley BF, Starkey NJ, Brown SL, et al. The effects of prolonged rose odor inhalation in two animal models of anxiety. Physiol Behav. 2007;92(5):931-938.

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