Preliminary report of a new rodent separation model of depression

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Abstract

1. Phodopus sungorus. the Siberian dwarf hamster, exhibits an unusual set of behavioral changes when the members of a male-female pair bond are separated. 2. Quantification of these behaviors reveals a significant increase in body weight, decrease in social interactions, and decrease in exploratory behaviors, predominantly in separated males. 3. Preliminary data on antidepressant treatments to reverse the separation syndrome, and on neurochemical changes during the separation period, are presented. 4. Separation of pair-bonded Siberian dwarf hamsters may provide a new animal model for depression, incorporating the practical advantages of a rodent model with the conceptual advantages of a naturalistic life event precipitant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-457
Number of pages11
JournalProgress in Neuropsychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
Volume8
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1984
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • antidepressants
  • behavior model
  • catecholamines
  • depression
  • dwarf hamsters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Biological Psychiatry

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