Effect of fenbendazole on three behavioral tests in male C57BL/6N mice

Bharathi S. Gadad, João P.L. Daher, Eric K. Hutchinson, Cory F. Brayton, Ted M. Dawson, Mikhail V. Pletnikov, Julie Watson

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12 Scopus citations


Pinworms are highly contagious parasites of laboratory rodents that often are treated with fenbendazole. To our knowledge, the effect of fenbendazole at therapeutic dosages on behavioral tests in mice has not been evaluated. Here we studied 6-wk-old male C57BL/6N mice. We compared the behavior of control mice (fed regular diet) with 3 groups of mice treated with dietary fenbendazole. Treatment groups were 4 wk of fenbendazole, 2 wk of fenbendazole followed by 2 wk of regular diet, and 2 wk of regular diet followed by 2 wk of fenbendazole. At the end of dietary treatment all groups were tested by open field for central, peripheral and vertical activity; elevated plus maze for anxiety; and rotarod for motor ability and then evaluated by clinical pathology and selected histopathology. Treated and control groups showed no differences in open field or elevated plus maze testing, histopathology, or clinical pathology. However mice treated for 4 wk with fenbendazole or 2 wk of fenbendazole followed by 2 wk regular diet stayed on the rotarod for shorter periods than did controls, and mice treated with 2 wk of regular diet followed by 2 wk fenbendazole showed a trend toward shorter rotarod times. In light of this study, we suggest that open field and elevated plus maze testing is unlikely to be affected by 4 wk fenbendazole treatment in male C57BL/6 mice; however, behavioral tests of motor ability such as rotarod tests may be affected during and for at least 2 wk after fenbendazole treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)821-825
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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