Further validation of the affective bias test for predicting antidepressant and pro-depressant risk: effects of pharmacological and social manipulations in male and female rats

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Abstract

Rationale: Affective biases are hypothesised to contribute to the cause and treatment of mood disorders. We have previously found that affective biases, associated with learning and memory, are observed following acute treatments with a range of antidepressant and prodepressant manipulations.
Objective: This study aimed to test if similar biases are observed in male and female Sprague Dawley (SD) rats. We also test whether the stress hormone, corticosterone induces a negative bias in the affective bias test (ABT) consistent with its putative role in the development of depression. We then use a meta-analysis to compare our findings with data published for the Lister Hooded rats.
Methods: The affective bias test uses a within-subject study design where animals learn to associate distinct digging substrates, encountered on different days, with the same value food reward. Exposure to one substrate is paired with a treatment manipulation (drug or environmental) and the other with a control condition. A preference test is used to test if the treatment has induced a positive or negative bias.
Results: Consistent with previous data, both male and female SD rats exhibit similar positive affective biases following treatment with the antidepressant, venlafaxine and social play and negative affective biases following FG7142 (benzodiazepine inverse agonist) and social stress. Acute treatment with corticosterone induced a negative bias.
Conclusions: These data add to the translational validity of the ABT and suggest that corticosterone can induce a negative affective bias following acute treatment, an effect which may contribute to its long term effects on mood.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalPsychopharmacology
Early online date22 Jul 2017
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Jul 2017

Bibliographical note

08-Jul-17

Keywords

  • Major depressive disorder
  • Antidepressants
  • Stress
  • Corticosterone
  • Enrichment
  • Affective bias

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