Forced Swimming test in mice and rats

  • Presentation

    Animals placed in a container filled with water show periods of increased swimming activity and periods of relative immobility. Clinically active anti-depressants have been found to delay the onset of the first phase of immobility and to reduce the total time of relative immobility. The list of active compounds includes monoamino-oxidase-A (MAO-A) inhibitors such as moclobemide, brofaromine, noradrenaline (NA) uptake inhibitors such as imipramine and amytryptilin, MAO-B inhibitors such as selegiline and tranylcypromine, serotonin uptake inhibitors (SSRI) such as fluoxetine and paroxetine and combined NA / SSRI such as venlafaxine. Benzodiazepines and other types of psychoactive compounds have been found to be inactive in this test.

  • Compound testing

    Compound testing addresses the effect of acute treatment on the immobility time of mice. Investigation of the effect of subchronic treatment is also possible.
  • Endpoints

    Immobility time (s)

  • Antidepressant effect of Imipramine given ip. to Swiss mice

    30 min before the test.

  • * means p < 0.05 versus Control group.

    Diazepam given p.o., 60 min before the test.

  • Porsolt RD, Bertin A, Jaffre M. Behavioral despair in rats and mice: strain differences and the effect of imipramine.

    Eur J Pharmacol. 1978, 51:291-294.

    Borsini F and Meli A. Is the forced swimming test a suitable model for revealing an-tidepressant activity ?

    Psychopharmacol. 1988, 94:147-160.

  • Antidepressant drugs, such as Imipramine and Fluoxetine, actively perform escape-directed behaviors and thus significantly reduce immobility time.

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