Mouse Forced Swimming Test For Depression in mice and rats
The forced swim test is a rodent behavioral test used for evaluation of antidepressant drugs and experimental manipulations that are aimed at rendering or preventing depressive-like states.Mice are placed in an inescapable transparent tank which is filled with water and their escape related mobility behavior is measured. The forced swim test is straightforward to conduct reliably and it requires minimal specialized equipment.The cylindrical tank should be (30 cm height x 20 cm diameters.
Materials and Method
1.The cylindrical tank
2.water resistant infrared thermometer
Hold the animal by its tail, and gently and slowly place in the water. Once the mice is in the water, slowly release the tail. Typically, using this procedure will prevent the animal’s head from being submerged under the water.Once mice is in the tank ,start the countdown on the stopwatch. The usual test length for mice is six minutes.Mice can readily float in water.At the end of six minute testing period stop the stopwatch.
Remove the animals from the water by their tails in the same order that you put them in and gently dry them with a drying paper and place back into their cage.generally only the last four minutes of the test are analyzed.the potential effects of the treatment can be obscured during the first two minutes.During the behavioral analysis, the time that each mice spends mobile is measured. The total amount of mobility time is then subtracted from the 240 seconds of test time and is then stated as the immobility time. While it is possible to measure the immobility time directly.Two separate stopwatches are used on the screen. The first stopwatch counts down from 240 seconds and alerts the observer when the behavioral analysis period ends. The second stopwatch measures the time spent mobile. Some stopwatch software has the ability to assign keys to start and stop functions, so that on-screen stopwatches can be controlled by the keyboard. In our lab, instead of a regular keyboard, we use an input device commonly known as a ‘gamepad’ to control the stopwatches.