WJNS  Vol.3 No.2 , May 2013
Helplessness-like escape deficits of NIH-HS rats predict passive behavior in the forced swimming test: Relevance for the concurrent validity of rat models of depression

The genetically heterogeneous NIH-HS rat stock has been characterized by its response to anxiety- and fear-inducing situations, thus leading to the conclusion that they are a rather anxious and passive coping type of rats. Taking advantage of these profiles, and knowing that they show very poor performance in the two-way active (shuttle box) escape/avoidance task, we have tested NIH-HS rats (n = 80) in the forced swimming test (FST) as well as we have studied escape response deficits (i.e. response failures) of the same animals in the two-way shuttle box task. They were also tested for anxiety in the elevated zero-maze. The goal of such a study was that of investigating whether there are associations or relationships among helplessness-like or passive coping responses between both models of depression, i.e. the FST and the helplessness-like escape deficits in the shuttle box task. The results for the first time show associations among responses from both depression models and that selecting rats for displaying extreme (active or passive) responses in one of the models predict in a coherent manner (according to the hypothesis) their behaviour in the other model. These findings are discussed in the context of the concurrent validity of both models of depression as well as concerning the possible relevance of NIH-HS rats as a tool for future studies on this field.

Cite this paper
Palència, M. , Díaz-Morán, S. , Mont-Cardona, C. , Cañete, T. , Blázquez, G. , Martínez-Membrives, E. , López-Aumatell, R. , Tobeña, A. and Fernández-Teruel, A. (2013) Helplessness-like escape deficits of NIH-HS rats predict passive behavior in the forced swimming test: Relevance for the concurrent validity of rat models of depression. World Journal of Neuroscience, 3, 83-92. doi: 10.4236/wjns.2013.32012.
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