Strain differences in sucrose preference and in the consequences of unpredictable chronic mild stress

Behav Brain Res. 2004 Nov 5;155(1):135-46. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2004.04.008.


Effects of unpredictable chronic mild stress (UCMS) on anhedonic-like behaviour, physical state, body weight, learning and memory were investigated in three strains of mice. These strains were chosen among 11 strains that were tested in a first experiment for their sucrose consumption and preference for sucrose solutions of different concentrations. In the second experiment, groups of mice of the CBA/H, C57BL/6 and DBA/2 strains were submitted to 7 weeks of UCMS. Measures of the sucrose consumption, the evaluation of the physical state and the measurement of body weight were weekly assessed. Following 4-week period of UCMS, sub-groups of stressed and non-stressed mice were submitted to the spontaneous alternation test in the Y-maze, and then to the water-maze test for spatial learning and memory. UCMS induced a significant decrease of the sucrose consumption in CBA/H and in C57BL/6 but not in DBA/2 mice. The UCMS effect on sucrose intake in CBA/H mice was associated with a body weight loss and a physical state degradation. Spatial learning in a water maze was not disturbed by UCMS, however, a long-term memory impairment was observed in CBA/H stressed mice during a probe test. In the Y-maze, UCMS did not modify spontaneous alternation. These results show both an anhedonic-like and an amnesic effect of UCMS in CBA/H mice. They also reveal a difference of sensitivity to UCMS according to the strain of mice.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Chronic Disease
  • Conditioning, Operant / drug effects*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drinking Behavior / physiology*
  • Exploratory Behavior / physiology
  • Male
  • Maze Learning / physiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred CBA
  • Mice, Inbred DBA
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Species Specificity
  • Stress, Psychological / physiopathology*
  • Sucrose / pharmacology*
  • Time Factors


  • Sucrose