Effects of unpredictable chronic mild stress on anxiety and depression-like behavior in mice

Yann S. Mineur, Catherine Belzung, Wim E. Crusio
Behavioural Brain Research. 2006-11-01; 175(1): 43-50
DOI: 10.1016/j.bbr.2006.07.029

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1. Behav Brain Res. 2006 Nov 25;175(1):43-50. Epub 2006 Oct 4.

Effects of unpredictable chronic mild stress on anxiety and depression-like
behavior in mice.

Mineur YS(1), Belzung C, Crusio WE.

Author information:
(1)Brudnick Neuropsychiatric Research Institute, University of Massachusetts
Medical School, 303 Belmont Street, Worcester, MA 01604, USA.

The widely accepted stress-diathesis hypothesis of depression postulates that
genetic factors contribute to biological vulnerability. Based on this concept,
the unpredictable chronic mild stress (UCMS) animal model was developed. Most
effects of UCMS can be reversed by antidepressant agents, illustrating a strong
predictive validity. In rodents, UCMS also has good face validity as it can
elicit depression-like symptoms. While abundant for rats, the UCMS literature on
mice is relatively limited. Reports sometimes are contradictory, making it
difficult to establish a clear profile of stress-induced depression-like
behaviors in mice. As different groups often use different strains for their
experiments, differential strain susceptibility to UCMS may provide at least a
partial explanation of these discrepancies. Moreover, differences in testing
methodology add another level of complexity. Very little is known about the role
of genetic factors and their interactions with the environment in the development
of stress-induced behavioral changes relevant to depression, though recent
studies unequivocally demonstrated the effects of specific gene polymorphisms on
stress-induced depressive symptoms, as well as the effects of stress on gene
expression. In the present study, we investigated the effects of UCMS on a
battery of different tests measuring anxiety and depression-like behaviors in
three behaviorally and genetically distinct inbred strains. The goals of these
experiments are to obtain a clearer behavioral profile of
genetically/phenotypically distant mouse strains after UCMS treatment and to
evaluate the limitations and strengths of the UCMS model in mice.

DOI: 10.1016/j.bbr.2006.07.029
PMID: 17023061 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

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