Two different putative genetic animal models of childhood depression

Oz Malkesman, Yoram Braw, Rachel Maayan, Abraham Weizman, David H. Overstreet, Meytal Shabat-Simon, Yael Kesner, Daphna Touati-Werner, Gal Yadid, Aron Weller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: In an attempt to model childhood depression, we examined whether existing genetic animal models of depression in adult rats are also valid in prepubertal rats. Methods: Two different "depressed" rat lines were studied: the Flinders Sensitive Line (FSL) and their controls, Sprague-Dawley (SD); and the Wistar Kyoto (WKY) line and their controls, Wistar. We hypothesized that male prepubertal FSL and WKY rats would show increased swim test immobility and different patterns of social play and of basal plasma levels of corticosterone and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) compared with control rats. Results: Prepubertal FSL and WKY rats exhibited significantly longer duration of immobility than control rats in the swim test. The FSL rats demonstrated significantly higher levels of social play behaviors and lower levels of corticosterone and ACTH compared with SD control rats, whereas WKY rats demonstrated significantly lower levels of social play behaviors and higher plasma levels of corticosterone and ACTH compared with Wistar control rats. Conclusions: The results might suggest that prepubertal FSL and WKY rats are both putative genetic animal models of childhood depression, exhibiting separate patterns and symptoms of childhood depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-23
Number of pages7
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Volume59
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
OM and YB were supported by a President’s fellowship, Bar-Ilan University. This work was supported by a grant from the Israel Science Foundation to AW. Research in the Developmental Psychobiology laboratory is partially supported by the Paula Rich Center, Bar-Ilan University.

Keywords

  • Animal models
  • Childhood depression
  • HPA axis
  • Social play
  • Swim test

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