, Volume 32, Issue 5, pp 335-348

Behavioral Characteristics of Rat Lines Selected for Differential Hypothermic Responses to Cholinergic or Serotonergic Agonists

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The present review will describe the formation of two pharmacologically selected lines of rats, their behavioral phenotypes, their responses to select drugs, their possible neurochemical correlates, and their use to detect the therapeutic potential of antidepressant drugs. The Flinders Line rats were established at Flinders University in Australia by selectively breeding for differential responses to an anticholinesterase agent from outbred Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats; the Flinders Sensitive Line (FSL) rats were more sensitive to the hypothermic and behavioral suppressing effects of this agent than the Flinders Resistant Line (FRL) rats. The 8-OH-DPAT line rats were established at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill by selectively breeding for differential hypothermic responses to the 5-HT1A receptor agonist, 8-OH-DPAT; the high DPAT sensitive (HDS) line rats were more sensitive to the hypothermic effects of 8-OH-DPAT than the low DPAT sensitive (LDS) line rats. Studies of these two pairs of lines have indicated that the FSL and HDS rats are both more susceptible to stress-induced behavioral disturbances. Their usefulness in detecting potential antidepressant drugs and the relationship between mood disorders and drug abuse will be discussed.