Anhedonia but not passive floating is an indicator of depressive‑like behavior in two chronic stress paradigms


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Acta Neurobiologiae Experimentalis

Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology

Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Biomedical Sciences & Nutrition, Life Sciences, Medicine, Neurosciences


ISSN: 0065-1400
eISSN: 1689-0035





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VOLUME 76 , ISSUE 4 (December 2016) > List of articles

Anhedonia but not passive floating is an indicator of depressive‑like behavior in two chronic stress paradigms

Mikhail Yu. Stepanichev * / Anna O. Tishkina / Margarita R. Novikova / Irina P. Levshina / Sofiya V. Freiman / Mikhail V. Onufriev / Olga A. Levchenko / Natalia A. Lazareva / Natalia V. Gulyaeva

Keywords : chronic stress, anhedonia, immobility, forced swim, corticosterone, depression

Citation Information : Acta Neurobiologiae Experimentalis. Volume 76, Issue 4, Pages 324-333, DOI:

License : (CC BY 4.0)

Published Online: 31-July-2017



Depression is the most common form of mental disability in the world. Depressive episodes may be precipitated by severe acute stressful events or by mild chronic stressors. Studies on the mechanisms of depression require both appropriate experimental models (most of them based on the exposure of animals to chronic stressors), and appropriate tests for assessment of depressive states. In this study male Wistar rats were exposed to two different chronic stress paradigms: an eight‑week chronic unpredictable mild stress ora two‑week combined chronic stress. The behavioral effects of stress were evaluated using sucrose preference, forced swim and open field tests. After the exposure to chronic unpredictable mild stress, anhedonia was developed, activity in the open field increased, while no changes in the duration of passive floating could be detected. After chronic combined stress, anhedonia was also evident, whereas behavior in the open field and forced swim test did not change. The levels of corticosterone in the blood and brain structures involved in stress‑response did not differ from control in both experiments. The absence of significant changes in corticosterone levels and passive floating may be indicative of the adaptation of animals to chronic stress. Anhedonia appears to be a more sensitive indicator of depressive‑like behavioral effects of chronic stress as compared to behavior in the forced swim or open field tests.

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