Prenatal stress in rats predicts immobility behavior in the forced swim test. Effects of a chronic treatment with tianeptine

Brain Res. 2003 Nov 7;989(2):246-51. doi: 10.1016/s0006-8993(03)03293-1.


Prenatally-stressed (PS) rats are characterized by a general impairment of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and sleep disturbances indicating that this model has face validity with some clinical features observed in a subpopulation of depressed patients. The prolonged corticosterone secretion shown by PS rats in response to stress was positively correlated with an increased immobility behavior in the forced swim test. To investigate the predictive validity of this model, a separate group of animals was chronically treated with the antidepressant tianeptine (10 mg/kg i.p. for 21 days). Such chronic treatment reduced in PS rats immobility time in the forced swim test. These findings suggest that the PS rat is an interesting animal model for the evaluation of antidepressant treatment.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic / therapeutic use*
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Corticosterone / blood
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Immobilization*
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Stress, Physiological / drug therapy*
  • Stress, Physiological / metabolism
  • Swimming
  • Thiazepines / therapeutic use*
  • Time Factors


  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic
  • Thiazepines
  • tianeptine
  • Corticosterone