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Behav Neurosci. 2004 Dec;118(6):1365-77.

Corticosterone increases depression-like behavior, with some effects on predator odor-induced defensive behavior, in male and female rats.

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Department of Psychology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.


This experiment examined the effect of repeated corticosterone injections on anxiety and depression-like behavior in male and female rats. Rats received either corticosterone or vehicle injections for 21 consecutive days prior to behavioral testing in the forced swim, open-field, and predator odor tests. The corticosterone injections significantly increased depression-like behavior in the forced swim test in both male and female rats but had no significant effect on anxiety in the open-field test. In the predator odor test, the corticosterone injections significantly increased a subset of defensive behaviors in the male rats. These results suggest that repeated exposure to corticosterone increases depression-like behavior, with some effects on anxiety, and that male rats may be more affected than female rats by this manipulation.

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