Depression Seen Through an Animal Model

Jay M. Weiss, Melissa K. Demetrikopoulos, Paige M. Mccurdy, Charles H. K. West and Robert W. Bonsall

in Anxiety, Depression, and Emotion

Published in print August 2000 | ISBN: 9780195133585
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199847310 | DOI:

Series: Series in Affective Science

Depression Seen Through an Animal Model

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This chapter begins with a description of the animal model for the study of depression which focuses on stress-induced behavioral depression. Based on laboratory tests, etiological similarities between the animal model and human depression have been noted, particularly in responses to stressful events. Also, several principal symptoms of clinical depression in humans have also been observed in the animal subjects. The findings from these studies sparked further research on the neurochemical basis of behavioral changes seen in animals such as reduced motor activity. Results showed that depletions of norepinephrine (NE) in the locus coeruleus (LC) region of the brain were strongly correlated with stress-induced behavioral depression. Another section of this chapter devoted to describing recent developments in constructing better rodent models of depression through the use of selective breeding. These new models include vulnerabilities inherent in specific population subsets which are thought to represent humans prone to developing severe mental disorders.

Keywords: animal model; stress-induced behavioral depression; stressful events; norepinephrine; locus coeruleus; rodent models of depression

Chapter.  14825 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Psychology

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