Animal Models of Depression

  • Eva González-Trujano
  • Fabiola Domínguez
  • Juan Manuel Gallardo
  • Christian Guerra-Araiza
  • Julia J. Segura-Uribe
  • Sandra Orozco-SuárezEmail author


Stress is a concept related to biological responses produced in all living organisms when facing environmental changes. These biological responses allow them to adapt. Chronic stress is a major risk factor in the development of several chronic diseases that has a high social and economic impact in many countries. Within these diseases is depression. Through a better understanding of the neurobiology of stress and depressive episodes, better preventative therapies and antidepressants with fewer side effects may be developed. Animal models of chronic stress have provided very important information through the pathophysiology of depression-associated behaviors that are similar to the behavior of depressed patients. This chapter reviews several depression assays involving acute stress (e.g., forced swim test), models consisting of prolonged physical or social stress (e.g., social defeat), models of secondary depression, genetic models, and experiments designed to elucidate the mechanisms of antidepressant action. These paradigms are critically evaluated in relation to the disease, validity and replicability, the molecular insights that they, and their capacity to offer the next generation of therapeutics for depression.


Animal models Behavioral testing Depression Stress 



We would like to thank the CYTED program (Action 112RT0460. “CORNUCOPIA” thematic network) for the support to the accomplishment of this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eva González-Trujano
    • 1
  • Fabiola Domínguez
    • 2
  • Juan Manuel Gallardo
    • 3
  • Christian Guerra-Araiza
    • 4
  • Julia J. Segura-Uribe
    • 3
  • Sandra Orozco-Suárez
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Dirección de Investigaciones en NeurocienciasInstituto Nacional de Psiquiatría Ramón de la Fuente MuñizMexicoMexico
  2. 2.Centro de Investigación Biomédica de OrienteInstituto Mexicano del Seguro SocialMetepecMexico
  3. 3.Unidad de Investigación Médica en Enfermedades Nefrológicas, Hospital de EspecialidadesCentro Médico Nacional, Siglo XXICiudad de MéxicoMexico
  4. 4.Unidad de Investigación Médica en Farmacología, Centro Médico Nacional Siglo XXIInstituto Mexicano del Seguro SocialMexicoMexico

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