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Phenotyping

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Tail suspension test

Purpose

The tail suspension test is among the most widely utilized rodent model of depression. When mice are suspended by the tail to a tail hanger, they will normally undertake an initial period of vigorous struggling after which the animal gradually abates into immobility. The duration of immobility has been inferred as an index of behavioral despair.

Sample test results

Dalvi A, Lucki I. 
Murine models of depression. 
Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1999 Nov;147(1):14-6.

Liu X, Gershenfeld HK. 
Genetic differences in the tail-suspension test and its relationship to imipramine response among 11 inbred strains of mice. 
Biol Psychiatry. 2001 Apr 1;49(7):575-81.

Equipment

2 automated cages are used (MED Associates Inc, St Albans, Vermont).

Recommendations

10 mice per group are recommended for reliable data analysis.

Forced swim test

Purpose

In the forced swim procedure, mice are forced to swim in unescapable situation. After a period of vigorous struggling, the animal becomes immobile, or makes only those movements necessary to keep its head above the water. The immobility observed in this test is considered to reflect a state of despair. 

Strain background references

Dalvi A, Lucki I. 
Murine models of depression. 
Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1999 Nov;147(1):14-6.

Karolewicz B and Paul IA 
Group housing of mice increases immobility and antidepressant sensitivity in the forced swim test and tail suspension tests. 
Eur. J. Pharmacol., 415 : 197-201

Ouagazzal A.M., Moreau J.-L., Pauly-Evers M. and Jenck F. 
Impact of environmental housing conditions on the emotional responses of mice deficient for orphanin FQ/nociceptin peptide precursor gene. 
Behav. Brain. Res. 144: 111-117

Equipment

Glass beakers filled with water at 22-23 °C.

Recommendations

10 mice per group are recommended for reliable data analysis.

Sucrose preference test

Purpose

Anhedonia, or reduced sensitivity to pleasure, is one of the core symptoms of depression which can be modeled in animals. The hedonic behavior can be evaluated by measuring the preference for sucrose when the animal has free access to two bottles containing either a sucrose solution or water.

Equipment

Specific bottles for evaluation of liquid consumption. 

Recommendations

10 mice per group are recommended for reliable data analysis

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