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Obsessive–compulsive-like behaviors in house mice are attenuated by a probiotic (Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG)

Kantak, Pranish A.; Bobrow, Dylan N.; Nyby, John G.

doi: 10.1097/FBP.0000000000000013
Research Reports

Two experiments examined probiotic pretreatment (Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG) on obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD)-like behavior induction by RU 24969 in BALB/cJ house mice. In the first experiment, two groups were defined by their daily pretreatment by oral gavage of either (a) L. rhamnosus (1×109 CFU/day) or (b) the saline vehicle. Both a 2- and 4-week probiotic pretreatment attenuated OCD-like behavior induction (increased perseverative open-field locomotion, stereotypic turning, and marble burying) relative to saline pretreatment. Experiment 2 re-examined the 2-week probiotic pretreatment while also comparing it to a 4-week fluoxetine pretreatment. Again, groups were defined by daily pretreatment of either (a) L. rhamnosus for 2 weeks, (b) the saline vehicle for 2 weeks, or (c) fluoxetine (10 mg/kg) for 4 weeks. Pretreatment by either L. rhamnosus or fluoxetine blocked the induction of OCD-like behavior compared with saline pretreatment. Thus the 2-week probiotic pretreatment was again effective. Although side effects of fluoxetine or L. rhamnosus on androgen-dependent behaviors could not be demonstrated, L. rhamnosus treatment appeared comparable to fluoxetine treatment in attenuating mouse OCD-like behaviors.

Department of Biological Sciences, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA

Correspondence to John G. Nyby, PhD, Department of Biological Sciences, 111 Research Drive, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA 18015, USA E-mail: jgn2@lehigh.edu

Received February 11, 2013

Accepted October 18, 2013

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