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A Pilot Study in Modeling Mood Disorders in Mice by Chronic Tail-Suspension Stress

Author(s): Chun-Sheng Ruan, Yi Guo, Larisa Bobrovskaya, Xin-Fu Zhou, Yue-Qin Zeng

Chronic stress has been known as a main cause for human mood disorders. The understanding of the pathogenesis of the mood disorders are primarily based on the usage of animal models. Low reproducibility and complicacy of production are commonly known shortcomings in the current models with chronic stress. Here, we tested a simple stress paradigm, daily exposure of 6-min tail-suspension (TS), in modelling chronic stress-induced mood disorders in mice. We found that after 2-3-weeks of TS stress mice displayed a significant decrease in exploratory behavior, increases in anxiety-like and depression-like behaviors as well as significant decreases of NeuN and GFAP levels in the hippocampus. We also found that longer exposure of mice to TS stress (up to 4 weeks) resulted in significant adaptation of these responses and reversal of most of the behavioural and biochemical changes. This study suggests that chronic TS stress for 2-3 weeks could be used as a model of mood disorders.

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