Gender differences in anxiety response to high intensity white noise in rats

Document Type


Publication Date



Prolong exposure to high intensity white noise (HIWN), defined as a heterogeneous mixture of sound waves extending over a wide frequency range, has detrimental peripheral and central consequences including cardiovascular and emotional effects. Anxiety is a common manifestation of HIWN. Although gender-dependent differences in manifestation of anxiety and/or response to treatment of this condition has been amply documented, potential differences in response to HIWN, a common exposure in combat, construction and rave disco, has not been adequately investigated. In this study, both male and female Wistar rats were subjected to HIWN for 10 consecutive days, 1 h/day. On day 11, a day after the last exposure, the performance of the rats in open field (OF) and elevated plus maze (EPM) was evaluated. Male rats showed a higher anxiety-like response to HIWN as evidenced by: lower number of entries into the open arm of the EPM, lower number of entries into central zone of OF, excess grooming in OF and more boluses in closed arm of EPM. These results indicate that gender-related differences in anxiety in general, and in response to HIWN, in particular, has to be taken into consideration when investigating the neurobiological components and/or treatment modalities.

This document is currently not available here.