A Potential Source of Error in the Hexobarbitone Sleeping-Time Test in Mice


RECENTLY, Bhide1 directed attention to the effect of hydration on the hexobarbitone sleeping time of mice. We have been able to confirm this work and that of earlier workers with respect to the effects of hydration in mice2, but it is not generally appreciated that dehydration, whether achieved by means of diuretic agents or deprivation of water for relatively short periods, has a significant effect on hexobarbitone sleeping time; these effects may lead to error in the screening of potential central nervous system depressants where these agents also have some diuretic or antidiuretic activity and where water supplies are accidentally removed from the animals for short periods.

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  1. 1

    Bhide, N. K., Nature, 187, 1030 (1960).

  2. 2

    Borjelleca, J. F., and Manthei, R. W., Arch. Int. Pharmacodyn., 111, 289 (1957).

  3. 3

    Spector, W. S., edit. by, Handbook of Biological Data, 39 (W. B. Saunders and Co., Philadelphia and London, 1956).

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RAMWELL, P., LESTER, I. A Potential Source of Error in the Hexobarbitone Sleeping-Time Test in Mice. Nature 190, 640 (1961). https://doi.org/10.1038/190640a0

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