WJNS  Vol.4 No.3 , June 2014
Behavioral Characteristics of Pharmacologically Selected Lines of Rats: Relevance to Depression
ABSTRACT

This brief review discusses the behavioral consequences of two pharmacologically selected lines of rats. Flinders Sensitive (FSL) and Flinders Resistant (FRL) Lines of rats were selected on the basis of differential hypothermic and behavioral responses to the anticholinesterase, diisopropylfluorophosphate (DFP). FSL rats are more sensitive to the hypothermic effects of cholinergic, serotonergic, and dopaminergic agonists but less sensitive to the locomotor or stereotypic effects of dopamine agonists. FSL rats exhibit greater immobility in the forced swim test and reduced social interaction compared with FRL rats, but do not differ in saccharin intake, behavior in the elevated plus maze, or responses for rewarding brain self-stimulation. The exaggerated immobility and reduced social interaction are counteracted by chronic treatment with antidepressants. Because FSL rats were more sensitive to 5-HT1A receptor agonists, high (HDS) and low (LDS) 8-OH-DPATsensitive lines were selectively bred for differential hypothermic responses to the 5-HT1A receptor agonist, 8-hydroxy-2-(di-N-propylamino)tetralin (8-OH-DPAT). HDS rats were also more sensitive to the hypothermic effects of oxotremorine, a cholinergic agonist, but selection for this response did not diverge with later selection. HDS rats exhibited greater immobility in the forced swim test than LDS rats and this correlated response could be seen early in selection (generation 3). HDS rats also showed reduced social interaction compared to LDS rats, but did not differ in behavior in the elevated plus maze. These findings confirm that selection for hypothermic responses to pharmacological agents do have behavioral consequences, notably the production of depressive-like phenotypes, which can be counteracted by chronic antidepressant treatment. Because increased 5-HT1A receptor sensitivity was common to both selected lines (FSL and HDS), neurobiological processes dependent on this receptor could contribute to the abnormal behaviors that manifest in these rat lines and thus suggesting a mechanism underlying depressive behaviors in humans. However, available human data are inconsistent with this hypothesis and suggest that other mechanisms underlie these behavioral abnormalities in HDS and FSL rats. These mechanisms as well as additional behavioral testing in these rat lines will be discussed.

 


Cite this paper
Knapp, D. , Daws, L. and Overstreet, D. (2014) Behavioral Characteristics of Pharmacologically Selected Lines of Rats: Relevance to Depression. World Journal of Neuroscience, 4, 225-239. doi: 10.4236/wjns.2014.43026.
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[97]   Mcqueen, D.A., Overstreet, D.H., Ardayfio, P.A. and Commissaris, R.L. (2001) Acoustic Startle, Conditioned Startle Potentiation and the Effects of 8-OH-DPAT and Buspirone in Rats Selectively Bred for Differences in 8-OH-DPATInduced Hypothermia. Behavioural Pharmacology, 12, 509-516.
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