1.问题： On p.8, top para, first sentence seems out of place, as it describes an open field but the rest of the para deals with the elevated plus maze. Under 2.3.4, near the bottom of the page, what pulse? Additionally, the way the shock is arranged, being delivered only through the drinking spout, seems peculiar. Wasn't the grid floor also electrified? On the next page, foot shock is mentioned, so I think this was an oversight in describing the procedure.
In a quite classical literature that named "Validation of openclosed arm entries in an elevated plus-maze as a measure of anxiety in the rat" published in (PMID: 2864480), it mentioned, "Pilot studies had also shown that animals placed in a novel environment before exposure to the +-maze tended to increase the overall activity in the +-maze, and to increase the likelihood that the open arms would be explored". In our previous study and exploration of relative field, we also observed that this "Before testing, rats were allowed to freely explore in the open-field" indeed could increase the overall activity in the EPM as well as open arms.
2. 问题：On p.14, full para, why is a novel environment considered aversive? And I don't understand the last sentence, having to do with effects seeming to be more anxiolytic than antidepressant.
To be exact, indeed, as you mentioned, this novel environment should not be considered aversive. Thus we changed it into "unfamiliar".
3.问题： Also it is unclear what point is being made on page 14: "In this study, subchronic exposure produced an anxiolytic effect at the magnitude of anxiolytic treatment, rather than the effect of chronic treatment of antidepressants."
As for this comment, it is really an interesting discussion. Please see the reference of "The effects of chronic antidepressant treatment in an animal model of anxiety " (PMID: 3137614). In the Fig.1, acute antidepressant treatment did not alter latency in NSFT, but anxiolytic did. Moreover, chronic treatment of both antidepressant and anxiolytic significantly reduced the latency (Fig. 2a & 2b). However, by comparison of Fig. 2a and 2b, you will find this magnitude of reduce was quite dramatic (see Fig. 3), since % of controls of chronic treatment of antidepressant was far more than that of chronic treatment of anxiolytic, as stated in our paper that "Chronic benzodiazepine treatment produced a 64-85% decrease in latency (Bodnoff et al., 1988), while chronic antidepressant treatment only produced a 33-51% decrease in the first latency to eating.". As for our study, we found it can significantly reduce latency to 64%-85% of controls, in the magnitude of anxiolytic. That is what we exactly mean in our discussion. We wish this explanation could make the last sentence clearer.