, Volume 93, Issue 3, pp 358–364 | Cite as

Reduction of sucrose preference by chronic unpredictable mild stress, and its restoration by a tricyclic antidepressant

  • P. Willner
  • A. Towell
  • D. Sampson
  • S. Sophokleous
  • R. Muscat
Original Investigations


Rats exposed chronically (5–9 weeks) to a variety of mild unpredictable stressors showed a reduced consumption of and preference for saccharin or sucrose solutions. Preference deficits took at least 2 weeks to develop and were maintained for more than 2 weeks after termination of the stress regime. Sucrose preference was unaffected by 1 week of treatment with the tricyclic antidepressant DMI but returned to normal after 2–4 weeks of DMI treatment. DMI did not alter sucrose preference in unstressed animals. No significant changes were seen in saline preference either during stress or following drug treatment. DMI reduced blood corticosterone and glucose levels, but stress did not significantly alter either measure. The results are discussed in terms of an animal model of endogenous depression.

Key words

Animal model of depression DMI Stress Saccharin Sucrose Saline Preference Anhedonia Corticosterone Glucose Rat 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Willner
    • 1
  • A. Towell
    • 1
  • D. Sampson
    • 1
  • S. Sophokleous
    • 1
  • R. Muscat
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentCity of London PolytechnicLondonUK

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