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The Forced Swim Test for Depression-Like Behavior in Rodents

  • Ann-Katrin Kraeuter
  • Paul C. Guest
  • Zoltán SarnyaiEmail author
Protocol
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1916)

Abstract

The forced swim test assesses learned helplessness, which is a feature of depression-like behavior in rodents. This test has also been used in testing the efficacy of existing and novel antidepressant drugs. It is based on the natural tendency of rodents to escape from water. Rodents are placed in a cylinder filled with water and the presumption is that those with a depression-like phenotype give up swimming earlier than those that are not depressed. Furthermore, antidepressant drugs reverse this effect. This chapter describes the basic setup and conduction of the test, along with interpretation of the results. It should be emphasized that this test should be conducted as part of a series of behavioral assessments in order to increase the accuracy of the results.

Key words

Animal model Depression Forced swim test Behavior Biomarker Drug screening 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ann-Katrin Kraeuter
    • 1
    • 2
  • Paul C. Guest
    • 3
  • Zoltán Sarnyai
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratory of Psychiatric Neuroscience, Australian Institute of Tropical Health and MedicineJames Cook UniversityTownsvilleAustralia
  2. 2.Discipline of Biomedicine, College of Public Health, Medicine and Veterinary SciencesJames Cook UniversityTownsvilleAustralia
  3. 3.Laboratory of Neuroproteomics, Department of Biochemistry and Tissue Biology, Institute of BiologyUniversity of Campinas (UNICAMP)CampinasBrazil

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