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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1989;99(2):287-8.

Genetic differences in a tail suspension test for evaluating antidepressant activity.

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  • 1Laboratory of Neuroscience, NIDDK, Bethesda, MD 20892.


Tail suspension-induced immobility in rodents is specifically antagonized by antidepressants, and has been proposed as an animal model of depression. Marked differences in tail suspension-induced immobility were observed among nine inbred mouse strains, ranging from 1 +/- 0.3 to 96 +/- 8-s in a 300-s test period. Moreover, these nine strains could be ranked in four distinct groups based on their immobilities, in which Balb/cJ and DBA/2J mice displayed the highest and the lowest immobility times, respectively. While significant differences in open field activity were also observed among strains, these differences were unrelated to their immobility times in the tail suspension test. These findings strongly suggest that performance in this proposed animal model of depression is under specific genetic control, and may provide a useful tool to study neurochemical and neuroendocrine correlates of depression and antidepressant action.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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