The tail suspension test: Ethical considerations


The above analysis of haemodynamic, behavioral, physiological and pharmacological factors concord in suggesting that the Tail Suspension Test is considerably less stressful to experimental animals than the traditional “behavioral despair” test. It should always be borne in mind, however, that any attempt to model depression in animals by definition does not render them happy. The aim is therefore to reduce the animal's discomfort to a minimum which is still compatible with the research goal, the discovery of new antidepressant agents. This important ethical consideration, together with the greater pharmacological sensitivity of the procedure, suggests that the Tail Suspension Test is a useful addition to the battery of behavioral tests available for evaluating antidepressant activity in animals.

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Thierry, B., Stéru, L., Simon, P. et al. The tail suspension test: Ethical considerations. Psychopharmacology 90, 284–285 (1986) doi:10.1007/BF00181261

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  • Depression
  • Experimental Animal
  • Ethical Consideration
  • Behavioral Test
  • Research Goal