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Effects of chronic and acute stress on rat behaviour in the forced-swim test

Author:
Suvrathan, Aparna   Tomar, Anupratap   Chattarji, Sumantra  


Journal:
Stress: The International Journal on the Biology of Stress


Issue Date:
2010


Abstract(summary):

Stress and depression may share common neural plasticity mechanisms. Importantly, the development and reversal of stress-induced plasticity requires time. These temporal aspects, however, are not captured fully in the forced-swim test (FST), a behavioural model for testing antidepressant efficacy, used originally in naive animals. The present study probed whether and how a rodent model of stress affects behaviour in the FST over time. We found that the intensity and duration of stress are critical in the development of depressive symptoms in male Wistar rats (n = 37) as tested in the FST. Chronic immobilization stress (2 h/day for 10 days) elicited a range of responses, from low to high values of immobility in the FST on day 1, and subsequent immobility on day 2 was inversely related to individual day 1 values. As a whole, chronically stressed rats did not exhibit any significant change in immobility either on day 1 or day 2 compared to control rats. However, climbing behaviour was reduced uniformly from day 1 to day 2, despite the differences in immobility. In contrast, a separate group of rats (n = 30) subjected to the same chronic stressor displayed a significant reduction in open-arm exploration in the elevated plus maze, indicative of a robust increase in anxiety-like behaviour. Furthermore, when the 10-day chronic stress paradigm was reduced to a single 2-h episode of immobilization stress, it triggered a uniform day 1 to day 2 increase in immobility, which was not persistent 10 days later. These results highlight a need for closer examination of the ways in which stress-induced modulation of behaviour in the FST may be used and interpreted in future studies aimed at exploring connections between stress and depression.


Page:
100824014522037


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