Animal behavioural studies in the
evaluation of antidepressant drugs

Thiebot MH, Martin P, Puech AJ.
Departement de Pharmacologie,
Faculte de Medecine Pitie-Salpetriere, Paris, France.
Br J Psychiatry Suppl. 1992 Feb;(15):44-50.


Animal behavioural models of psychiatric disorders cannot exactly simulate human psychopathology, but they can be used to evaluate the behavioural changes induced by drugs and to suggest hypotheses about the functions of the CNS and its involvement in psychiatric disorders. This should lead to a more heuristic classification of psychotropic drugs and to clarification of their therapeutic possibilities. The following animal models simulate aspects of depressive disorders and are sensitive to the antidepressant effects of drugs. (i) The forced swimming test: described as 'behavioural despair' on the assumption that the animal has given up hope of escaping. (ii) The 'restraint stress' test: this may indicate a failure to adapt to stress. (iii) The learned-helplessness model: exposed to uncontrollable events, animals exhibit learning performance deficit and behavioural changes, including decreased locomotor activity and loss of appetite. (iv) Waiting behaviour: improvement in the ability to wait for and/or postpone an active response; this could be related to the reported beneficial effects of antidepressants on impulsive behaviour.
Tianeptine (Stablon)
Tianeptine: structure
Melancholic depression
Stress, memory and depression
Tianeptine for anxious depressives
Electrophysiological effects of tianeptine
Antidepressant comparisons: SSRIs v tianeptine
Effect of tianeptine on growth hormone secretion

and further reading

Future Opioids
BLTC Research
Utopian Surgery?
The Abolitionist Project
The Hedonistic Imperative
The Reproductive Revolution
Critique of Huxley's Brave New World

The Good Drug Guide
The Good Drug Guide

The Responsible Parent's Guide
To Healthy Mood Boosters For All The Family