Chronic Social Defeat

The chronic social defeat stress paradigm induces depression by repeatedly exposing naïve mice to aggressor mice. After 15 days in this emotionally stressful environment, mice display robust depressive phenotypes, which are characteristic of human symptoms. The hallmark behaviors of this model include anhedonia, anxiety and social-avoidance behavior as measured by:

  • Reduced activity in an open field
  • Reduced number of rears
  • Increased immobility
  • Impaired performance in a long-term memory test (contextual fear conditioning)
  • Impaired performance in active avoidance test

Collectively, these endpoints provide a comprehensive model of depression to assess the efficacy of your antidepression therapy candidates. This flexible study paradigm allows either chronic or acute antidepressant treatments, as well as client-specified dosing programs, translating to better predictive value for your drug candidate’s intended use.

Spontaneous Locomotor Activity in CSD Mice

Chronic Social Defeat (CSD) mice are less active and demonstrate a reduction in rearing relative to control mice.

Spontaneous Locomotor Activity in CSD Mice

CSD mice spend more time immobile in the open field than control mice (A). CSD mice spend less time in the center of the open field (B), which suggests heightened anxiety. Mobile CSD mice move at the same velocity as control mice (C), suggesting no motor impairment.

CSD Mice and Freezing Behavior after Aversive Stimuli

CSD mice displayed impaired acquisition in a contextual fear conditioning paradigm.

CSD Mice and Avoidance Behavior

When tested in an active avoidance paradigm, CSD mice had a significant reduction in the number of active avoidances and a significant increase in no-response trials.

CSD Mice and Sucrose Preference

When tested in a sucrose preference test, CSD mice had a reduced preference for sucrose (relative to water) as compared to control mice.

CSD Study Paradigm

Example of the chronic social defeat study paradigm. Treatment regimen is study-dependent.

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