Behavior of Rats in a Forced Swimming Test Is Not an Unambiguous Predictor for the Development of Anhedonia in Chronic Stress
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Anhedonia is one of the central features of the development of depression. Chronic stress leads to the development of depression-like behavior in experimental animals, which in particular is expressed as impairments to the consumption of and/or preference for tasty meals or drinks, i.e., anhedonia. We report here studies of the development of chronic unpredictable stress-induced anhedonia in animals previously separated into groups on the basis of activity in the forced swimming test. Anhedonia was assessed weekly in terms of the level of consumption and at the end of the experiment in terms of the preference for sucrose solution. Chronic unpredictable stress in rats led to the development of anhedonia, apparent as a decrease in the preference for sucrose solution. The link between the animals’ initial behavior in the forced swimming test and the development of anhedonia was not straightforward. Despite the fact that the probability of developing anhedonia was higher in rats with initially higher levels of activity in the forced swimming test (assessed in terms of the number of animals demonstrating anhedonia), groups of animals resistant and sensitive to chronic stress as assessed in terms of anhedonia showed no significant differences in their initial behavioral characteristics in the forced swimming test.
Keywordsanhedonia chronic unpredictable stress forced swimming test sucrose preference depression
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